Days 1 & 2: Central Kalahari Game Reserve & Nxai National Park
A tap on the shoulder and the words ‘we are being watched’ are a memory that will stay with me for a long time, so let me explain the situation. I was in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, one of the largest game reserves in Africa, a vast expanse of semi desert. Having woken up to a beautiful sunrise from the comfort of my bed, I had set out on a bushman’s walk. Scupa, my bushman guide, was just explaining to me how he would go about making a poison arrow and what the cure was if you accidentally cut yourself with said poisoned arrow, when Chester, another guide, tapped me on the shoulder and said those four words to me.
Sure enough, as I looked up there was a lioness stood staring fixedly at us from across the other side of a waterhole.
Now, we were in no immediate danger as fortunately there was a natural barrier between us and her, so under Scupa’s directions we slowly made our way back up the path we had taken and towards the lodge. Back at the lodge we jumped into a vehicle and went round to the waterhole to get a closer look at her - and what a beauty she was! After trailing her for a while we lost sight of her as she found a nice shady spot to relax. We made the decision to carry on with our intended activity and drove a safe distance away to continue our walk.
The walk was fascinating as Scupa taught me how to survive in the bush by demonstrating how to get water from a tuber, make fire and set traps to catch birds and antelope. He made all this look as easy as a trip down to the local supermarket! I am still yet to discover the cure to one of the poison arrows though…
My next day was spent in Nxai National Park. This park is host to thousands of zebra as they migrate from the Boleti River back to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, unfortunately they had not yet reached Nxai nevertheless there was still plenty to see. On the afternoon drive we encountered an impressive lioness and her two 10 month old cubs as well as plenty of general game such as springbok, wildebeest, ostrich and plenty of birdlife.