Africa is a chameleon. I am only a day’s drive away from Etosha – my most recent never-ending fountain of wildlife, and it’s like I’ve landed on a different planet with its own magnificent and diverse population of birds and antelopes. Reminding me of my South American darling, the jabiru, saddlebill storks rummage through the reeds with their incredibly colorful bills, spread their enormous sail-like wings, and get away from me as I chase them around the swamp knee-deep in mud. In the presence of the saddlebills, reedbucks are of less interest to me. As if feeling it, they let me get much closer to them on foot than any other antelope would. The moment my camera lens is turned away, they jump up with a loud scream resembling the cries of spoiled children who are not getting their way.
I am yet to chase down a hippo. I haven’t decided yet how scared I am of them. I almost never see them during the day. Only in the early morning, when they are still out grazing, I’ve managed to sneak up close enough to take a peek thorough the bushes. As a result, I only have a photo of a hippo running away. At night though, it almost feels like they are about to come and walk on top of my tent, which is set up in the vast shade of a baobab tree. Their roars make me cling tighter to Alex, but I think he doesn’t mind. In fact, sometimes, I play more scared then I actually am, only to be the helpless girl in need of a strong broad-shouldered man to protect her from hippos and lions of Africa.
Location: North Namibia