Written by: Jaci van Heteren
After a restless night’s sleep I really did not feel like getting up. The thought of a lie-in was much more appealing. Then I remembered the Terrapin Hide at Jaci’s Lodges.
I did the “terrapin shuffle” and settled into my second home in the waterhole. I marvelled at the view from inside the Terrapin Hide and walked from one window to the next to scope out what was around me; anticipating what might pop over the horizon.
The woodlands kingfisher had found a mate and they both flew to the tree perch and showed their brilliant blues to each other.
The wasps were building their nests in the corners of the hide and I tried to capture one flying in with a mud ball.
A terrapin popped up and looked at me from such a close distance that I could see right into his nostrils and look into each of his bright eyes. I was too scared to move to take a photo, for fear of frightening it away, so I just enjoyed making eye contact.
I managed to take a few great pictures of the glossy starlings bathing – in pairs and on their own – with others watching or deciding if they were going to follow suit.
Some oxpeckers also flew in to have a drink, which made me think that the buffalo would soon be on their way. So when the oxpeckers left, I waited.
Then I heard a sound – ‘click, click, click’. My first thought was that it was the sound of eland, but over the hill popped a zebra, followed by another.
Then over the hill appeared one eland, followed by another and another. Eight cows and one bull, together with several zebras, including a very young foal, came into view and moved towards the water.
I adjusted my lens length and snapped a few close up shots before they walked back over the hill and were gone.
What an exhilarating and breathtaking moment. And to think that I would have missed it if I had slept in! Tomorrow I’m going to be up even earlier and plan to stay even longer…