Charley Boorman Log- Day 29

July 11, 2012

IMG_7981In which Charley and the team move further into Kruger and spend a night amongst lions…

As ever with camping, we’re woken by the first sunlight creeping through the tent walls. While we shuffle out of our musty shelters and blink at our surroundings, the Intrepid team are already busy at work preparing a gratefully received coffee. A support team is a wonderful thing.

With the smouldering campfire ash disposed of responsibly by Trust (fire is a major problem in this region full of dry grassland), we climb back in the vehicles and restart our trek across the Kruger.

This deep into the scarcely-seen part of the reserve, the animals seem to be hiding. Despite some magical glimpses in the distance, we have no sightings that match the immediacy of yesterday’s elephants and rhinos – Although that’s not to say we can’t see plenty of evidence of the creatures nearby. On every rough road you find heap after heap of Elephant dung and at the side of the road trees lie flat, pushed over by tusks and trunks. An Elephant population as large as Kruger’s leaves a very noticeable mark on the surroundings.

Late afternoon brings us to the officKruger 3ial crossing in the fence to Mozambique. Despite the presence of armed soldiers who guardedly watch our cameras, we’re allowed to cross the border and officially enter another country for a few minutes – and even get our passports stamped as a token gesture. When we take the short return walk back across the border into South Africa, I can’t help but smile as I notice that the huge wooden gate – This heavily guarded border – is simply and casually propped open with a large stone.

As night falls once again, we arrive at our second campsite, nestled in the bend of a dried up river. After an excellent meal from the Intrepid team and a tot of brandy, we climb into our tents to sleep.

At around 4am, a low roar thunders around the pitch black camp and through the thin canvas walls of the tent, followed by a second and shortly, a third. It’s Lions. Lots of active Lions. They sound close but in the darkness of the tent it’s impossible to tell how near, and it would take a brave man to stumble into the night to find out.

With one eye open, we wait for morning…

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