4 July 2012
Once again it was cold when we got up. Earl was still feverish and had not had a good night. We thought it might be a good idea to cut our holiday short and make our way home. I went to Eric and asked him to try and get us accommodation in Nossob. There was no way Earl could travel all the way to Upington in his state of health. Unfortunately, Nossob was fully booked so we would have to stay another night and leave early the next morning as planned. It turned out to be the best thing as Earl started to improve.
It was even colder today than yesterday. We dressed warmly and prepared to keep vigil on the waterhole. We were a bit horrified to see that the water level had dropped considerably in the waterhole and found out later that the pump was broken. The animals would be having a muddy drink today. New people had moved into the hut 3 – an Italian dad and his teenage son. It was their second visit to Africa having previously travelled through Namibia and Botswana but they had never seen lion. Well at 9:45 a.m. they were to be rewarded. Along came a lovely female.
The dad called across to us – there’s another one and sure enough Number one was joined by her sister.
They stayed for a while and then went off to do what lions do all day – sleep under a shady tree somewhere.
The bush telegraph must have gone out because very few animals came to drink at the waterhole today – they must have known that the water level was low. Eric went off duty and he introduced Andries who was to take him place. Andries turned out to be a very capable attendant. He turned off the water and set about trying to fix our water heater. It took him most of the day and in spite of many attempts at repair it became clear that a new one was required. But he fixed the pump and the level of the water came up. He also fixed the flood light!
There was not much happening after the lion visit but we enjoyed our bird watching.
The last photo of the day was of two jackals sharing a drink.
Earl was feeling better and got up to have a shower. We had to use Peter and Heather’s as our water-heater had been disconnected. He was exhausted afterwards and went straight back to bed.
The wind dropped so we made a braai and then turned in for an early night. And what a scary night it turned out to be. Earl had slept most of the day so was not sleepy and we read for a while before going to sleep only to be woken in the early hours of the morning by a prowling lion roaring loudly right outside our hut. I leapt up and unzipped the canvas window but could not see a thing. “He must be behind the hut,” I said to Earl. “Go out on the deck and see what you can see” “You must be crazy!” I was terrified and was not about to risk life and limb to see and predating cat! He roared and roared. It was at once both thrilling and terrifying. We lay and listened to the sound which eventually faded away and we went back to sleep.