Ok ok, hold on to your ...........
I have told the story here somewhere before but lemme tell it again...
It all started like this....
it was in 2000 just before the record exams for matrics. I schemed myself into a trip with my late brother and his 2 friends and one of them's girlfriend on number 99. I have always been one that made decisions on the spur of the moment and little did I know that this one nearly cost my family & friends another trip to Kruger to go scatter my ashes in it...
We had a super trip in the 3 days we were there. Saw the big 5 and wild dogs. We ended up in Lower Sabie. As things go with trips which includes 2nd year Pretoria Tuks students we were never short of fun and action. I remember seeing my brother stamped with the Croc bridge gate stamp till he was as blue as a smurf. The intern at the gate (a real looker of note) had her hands full with the 3 students without the accompanied girlfriend. One thing Tuks boykies can do very well is to charm the taco powder of a lass.
Anyhow we eventually got out of Croc Bridge and drove back to LS. I was the designated driver which meant that I was the only capable one around and I was to have my share of drinkable substance later that night around one of my now famous camp fires.
As it goes, the students retired to their sleeping places early after their day's high packed action filled experience. 3
went into the tent and the last one, now famous Free state Cheetah lock Corniel van Zyl, and playing a helluva game, went into the venture. Till today non of us can remember how he packed himself into it being 2meters tall.
I was the last man standing as usual. My firewood stock starting to deplete... Then I remembered the kitchen at the back of the old restaurant for those who can remember the old LS camp. I pulled myself together, took a swash @ the "Oom Tas"(best SA red wine one can find and the only one we could affort), camouflaged my kisser with some ashes, put on my beanie and jogged to my rendevouz point from where I would start to leopard crawl to the unfortunate hostage which I was about to free namely 3 huge rooibos stumps.
Now many might say that I stole the goods. I would rather think of it as utilise untilised natural resources and put it out
of its suffering misery of being half burnt to death in any case. Kruger tends to give many, including me, specifically, a
mischievious side. Afterall its not my fault the shops are closed @ 22:00 @ night.
So after grabbing hold of the goods I ran back to my base camp. Needless to say that with the current state I was in(which is the only way I could get as brave as I were) I took a stump on the smouldering end and howled like a constipated hyaena stuck in a drainpipe under the S100. On my way back swearing myself for being so dumb, which I do quite often anyhow, I tripped over a tap after mistaking a nearby gwarrie bush for a saber-toothed warthog with my name on its business end. It looked like a comet had hit the earth. Billions of smouldering ashes enlighting the sky and a thump as dull as half brick being dumped into blocked up longdrop when my carcass hit the the ground. I fell so hard that my fillings in my teeth rang like a old
postoffice tikkiebox. After hearing calls of excited all timers that Halleys comet had just hit this side of the country I scooped up my catch and set off like a "brandsiek muishond" with a turbo-charged V8 tied on its back... not as fast but as loud as I picked the smouldering end of a log up with my other hand...
Ok, to cut a long story short... I ended up inviting a matric(thus knowing the time of events) nelspruit oke who came camping with his girlfriend over to come and finish the bottle of "Tas" with me. Not soon after, his betterhalf appeared to find out what the heck had happened to him as they were to go thru some biology notes(yeah right!). That was just the motivation the 3 male students needed to come and investigate the source of the fairer voice. So next thing I sat there with a Loftus sized croud and drinking "Tas" thru a straw as my hands where wrapped up with a sock filled with ice and a 3 day old hanky dupped in ice cold water. As luck wanted it the 4th student, the girlfriend, took unkind to this new lass protruding her domain and soon after the whole party was pooped.
I don't know and wouldn't remember anyhow what time I fell asleep next to the fire but I know I did not lay my head down on a pillow. When the car hooter went off I flew up and it felt like my neck broke off just below my head as I tried to raise it.
Whether from the hangover or whether from laying my head down on a rock that pretty much resembled an southern angolian snow chicken I cannot say. It sounded like a foghorn went off in my head. Someone shouted lion!! "Get into your cars... Lion!!!!". That didnt take me long to snap, hangover and all and I piled into the 2m lock forward filled toyota venture. All hell broke loose, children cried, women screamed and men... well they did what men would do and stood and watched the whole affair. I remember this black dude on a "dikwiel" bicycle come tearing past me and ran towards where people were
running away from. He was our hero!! Our Chuck Norris.
A lioness was trapped in the corner of the camp and was busy ramming "boeppense" (beerboeps) into the perimeter fence. Her face was covered in blood as the poor old lady tried to get out of this human infested craphole. The camp manager asked us to help block her off from running back into the camp with our venture which was regarded as perfect taking its size into
account. So we ended off having front row seats of the outcome of this once in a lifetime experience. My brother video taping the whole story. A vet rushed from Skukuza and took place next to us to dart the old gal. Boy!! Did she gave a bloodstolling growl when that dart entered her, she went as balistic as... well, a darted, agitated, starving lioness trapped in a corner,
She walked a couple of circles snarling and growling at us and then the drugs started to take effect, she stumbled left and
right like I did the previous night and then her back legs gave way and she collapsed onto her side. The vet went out to
investigate and so did the rest of the camp. We helped loading her onto the vet's bakkie. It took 4 men to accomplish that.
The vet explained that she was very old, starving and probably TB ridden and that they would do tests on her in Skukuza and if she was sick that they would put her out otherwise release her back into her territory. We never heard the outcome but I think we were on of the last to have seen her alive.
Well a couple of cold castles later @ 8 am ended the adrenalin rush and as we learned from the camp manager that the lioness came in thru the staff gate leading into the camp the night before I froze in my steps as I realised that it was about the time I went out on my S.W.A.T. stab mission. True as bob she tossed over almost all the dustbins in the camp looking for
scraps. Her spoor all over the kitchen area. I never went to look at where I had slept, but my brother told me that he reckoned that it was not my time as by judging by the signs she probably sniffed at my head and the stinch of "Oom Tas" red wine and the accompaning snore made her realise that the heartburn as a result of her soon to be meal would not cut the
I still sleep outside many times... but I always have this incident in the back of my head.
Latest Lifer(s): White-breasted Cuckooshrike, Shy Albatross, Knysna Woodpecker, Mangrove Kingfisher
Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinmanhttp://www.laine-dirk.co.za