Safari, Namibia 2016: Next Link In The Chain. Blog #21“The Final Fire”

by david on June 23, 2017

After our naps it was finally time to go to officially measure the trophies. The last time I had officially measured anything was 10 years ago on my first trip. I wanted to watch Doug as we officially measured his kudu and I was curious as to how my eland finally measured up. After all was said and done, Doug’s kudu, my eland, klipspringer, and impala were all worthy of the Rowland Ward record book. Doug’s gemsbok (while not quite Roland Ward) more than qualified for Namibia’s gold medal and was a very nice gemsbok. Zebras, while they are trophies, have no scoring because there is really nothing to measure. All in all, it had been a very successful hunt.

Our last dinner was one for the books. The spread was slightly different than anything I have had before. You have probably heard about the lion and the lamb? Well, we literally ate the lion and the lamb in the form of lion and lamb chops. Both were excellent and the lion tasted well like lion (bet you thought I was going to say chicken) but it had its own flavor. There was a rice dish and fresh roasted vegetables. The wine went well with both meats and was still flowing around the fire pit after dinner.

The conversation on the last night is always about four things:  satisfaction/contentment, sorrow/regret, promise/anticipation, and resignation. The satisfaction comes from the hunt. Even if no trophies are taken you are satisfied with simply hunting. Finding contentment with being in the outdoors matching wits with Mother Nature. Sometimes you win, sometimes she does. If you don’t get your trophy, you are content with the knowledge you have something to come back to try and outsmart later. You will regret having to leave camp and be sorry at having to leave friends. You will regret that in the morning you will be getting up and climbing into a vehicle to leave rather than return to the veld. Tomorrow, however, will be full of promise for a return trip, and the ideas for that trip:  Doug for a springbok and warthog and me for who knows what. Perhaps another trip to the Caprivi for the waterbuck I did not get two years ago. The tossing out of ideas and discussion around the fire will fill you with anticipation of that “next” trip. The final emotion of the evening is resignation. You finally are forced to resign yourself to the fact you have to go home tomorrow. With the last of the four completed you will raise your glass and take the last sip of wine. You will even try to prolong that by swirling it around over your taste buds while you glance longingly at the star-filled night sky. After the last swallow of the evening, a look across the fire pit reveals the same look on the faces of your companions. Tonight’s fire is no exception. We toasted our successes, lamented our departure, planned our future and with our glasses empty, we headed off to bed. It had been over two weeks and it was time to head home.

The best place in camp. The best place in camp.

Previous post:

Next post: