Caprivi Strip, 2014 Part 12

by david on April 13, 2015

Wild Goose…err. Elephant Chase


Today started the same as yesterday. After a quick look for some buffalo, we headed to the core area to look for elephant.  It didn’t take long to find some tracks, and I thought my luck was changing.  Then the guessing game and bickering started all over again.  The tracks were somewhat old and seemed to be splitting up and heading in three or four directions.  The decision was finally made to split the trackers into two groups and have them go on separate paths. Johann, Byron, and I would head in a third direction.  If no one found any fresh tracks in 30 minutes, we were all to meet back at the truck and start over.  Forty-five minutes later, we were all back at the truck.


With no luck on these tracks, I was starting to feel a little frustrated after seeing literally thousands of elephants all up and down the riverbanks.  About that time, Angel’s phone rang.  It seems someone in his village had seen elephants about 10 AM.  Since the sighting was recent, we piled back into the Landcruiser and headed that way.  Twenty minutes later found us close to where we started the morning.  Now the problem was that Angel couldn’t seem to find his village much less the fellow who had actually seen the elephants.  I knew he was completely turned around as I heard the direction “left turn”, given at least eight times in a row.  We eventually stumbled across some women and children tending cattle and asked them about the elephant.  Sure, sure, they were here about 10 AM, they said, and they went that way.  We headed in that direction and from the truck we saw absolutely nothing.  Next thing I knew, the trackers and game scout bailed out of the truck and headed into the bush to try to pick up the tracks.  Two hours later the last one came back, and all there was to show for it was two hours sitting in the truck.  I wondered if the Caprivi trackers were trained by “Howard, Howard, and Howard”.


In the meantime, Johann had a prayer meeting with Byron and found out what part of the problem was.  It seemed that before he was hired as an honest tracker Angel used to be quite the poacher.  Hombrek, being a Park Ranger, naturally did not like him and the animosity was spilling over into my hunt.  As Johann explained all this to me, all the loud voices from behind the bush where Byron had called Angel and Hombrek began to make sense.  Evidently Byron was now passing along Johann’s displeasure and the reasons for the displeasure.


Elephants everywhere... Elephants everywhere…


...but where I am. …but where I am.



Wednesday: Close enough to hear the elephant’s breathe

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