We arose quite early, as soon as it became light enough, about 05h30, and departed camp at about 06h30.
As it was appearing to be less cloudy than previous days, we attempted to get some distance behind us before the bushveld started heating up. We combined the lunch and breakfast breaks with a long siesta in the mouth of the Misumani from about 10h30 to 14h00.
We also washed and swam in the rapids near there. We then walked until about 16h30 and crossed to the southern bank near the mouth of the Nhlaralumi River, as the riverbed was very wide and water flows closer to this bank.
We chose a spot next to some Feverberry trees (Croton megalabotrys), and also a medium sized Nkhuhlu tree, Trichilia emetica (Natal Mahogany).
We retired at about 21h30, once again in a bright, full-moon and cloudless night.
We were awoken at about 23h40 by the snort of a large animal very close to camp. We were to find out in the ensuing, very tense minutes that it was a black rhino that had approached the river from the south and was surprised to find these alien structures set up in her territory. Fortunately, the rhino decided on the better option, namely to walk off, much to all of our relief. Upon investigation the next morning, it was found that he had stood six meters from Mari's tent. Needless to say, Mari (and others) experienced some very anxious minutes. The very distinctive snort, the heavy breathing and the feeling of absolute vulnerability (tucked into a small, light canvass tent of 1x1x2m) will remain with me for a long time.
Well done to all, in particular Andrew and Hein, for choosing to remain still, resulting in the animal moving off. Big congratulations also to Mari for enduring the anxiety, yet remaining dead still! Needless to say the remainder of the night was spent quite sleepless with the all the adrenalin in the veins.
Last installment tomorrow...