Caprivi Strip, 2014 Part 21

by david on May 4, 2015

Crocodiles, Little girls and fishing

 Zoe and I spent the afternoon trying to catch a fish while Janice supervised the whole thing. We started out making a fish hook from a soda-can pop top and fishing line from lily pad stems. When that did not work, we cut up a discarded nylon fishnet to make some real fishing line. Next came a dried-out reed for a fishing pole. This kept her hands and feet inside the boat for an hour or so. When this proved too slow, she took her extra t-shirt and some sticks and made a net. Netting proved too difficult, so now were on to plan “D” or “E” or something like that. Our final idea was to cut the bottom out of a Coke bottle, remove the cap, and tie the longest piece of lily vine to it we could find. Now she had a fish trap she could drop in the water. The thought was that a few bread crumbs would be in the bottle and when a fish swam in to lift the bottle out of the river, water would run out of the uncapped bottle and the fish would stay in. Needless to say, we did not catch any fish but I managed to keep Zoe mostly out of the water for the afternoon. I have never been so nervous watching someone else’s child. I was constantly reminding her not to get too close to the water or to lean out over the water.

Petrified comes closest to describing my state of mind for the afternoon that there was a croc somewhere close by and I would not see it in time. Neither croc nor hippo ever made its presence known, but that nagging little voice in the back of my head just kept on yammering all day and just about wore me out. Watching children has never bothered me, but I have never been so elated to see people pop up on the horizon as I was when Johann and Vera came into view.

The afternoon reconnoiter had been no more fruitful than the first, and the “you-should-have-been-there-yesterdays” offered by the scouts were met with frowns, moans, and grunts of annoyance. Everyone was hot and tired, and we decided to pile back into the launch and head back. The game viewing was as outstanding as the morning. Instead of a leopard in the morning, we had lions in the afternoon. Once again, the wildlife took no notice of the boat and the camera shutters were clicking all the way back to the dock. If there had been sundowners on the boat the ride back would have been perfect.

So very, very glad we did not see any of these today. So very, very glad we did not see any of these today.

 

Hippos were everywhere and can move surprisingly fast.  Hippos were everywhere and can move surprisingly fast.

 

Father and daughter enjoying the lunch break. Father and daughter enjoying the lunch break.

 

Getting ready for the afternoon expedition. Getting ready for the afternoon expedition.

 

The lions were one of the few species that felt the need to move off as we got closer. The lions were one of the few species that felt the need to move off as we got closer.

 

Wednesday: Daybreak on the water

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