Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog, including strong statements in support of weinerdog-riding monkeys, are our own, and not those of the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. government.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Oh Yeah

Marilyn and Luther are here.

And we went to Livingstone over the weekend. Victoria Falls was pretty much covered in mist because the water level is so high, but we did get a clear view of one corner from one vantage point.

And then Jack was held for ransom by bandits...

....Or posed for a picture with Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) guards, I forget which one.

But since he is still with us, and I paid no ransom, I guess it was probably the latter.

We rolled up to the ZAWA camp in the Mosi-O-Tunya national park, a small park along the Zambezi near Livingstone, to inquire about the five white rhinos that they have in the park. Zambia used to be full of black and white rhinos, but they were completely poached out. They've been re-introduced to the MOT Park in Livingstone (white rhinos) and the North Luangwa National Park (black rhinos), and are under pretty much constant guard against poachers. Previous attempts to reintroduce rhinos failed when they guessed it...poached.

If only their horns weren't so full of magic that made Asian men so powerful in bed (or something).

So we rolled up on the ZAWA camp (after hunting up a few giraffes for Jack, of course) and inquired whether the rhinos were around. Nope, not near any of the main safari roads today. In fact, four of the five were across the highway in a part of the park where there were no roads. The fifth, the dominant bull, was somewhere, but not accessible to some little old self-drive safari nerds. At least that was the impression we were getting. You can't just go off tramping through the bush when you are in a vehicle safari, you have to be on a walking safari. And plus, the ZAWA guys were just sitting down to lunch.

Well, what if we took them to the place where the dominant bull was, then brought them back for their delicious lunch? Seeing a rhino would make my father ever-so-pleased, said I.

Well, okay. So Ernest and William climbed into the car, AK-47s in tow, and we were off. We drove a few kilometers down a side track, then tramped through the bush for about 400 meters.

until...(look between Katherine and Ernest).

That's right.

His name is Fanya, which means troublesome, although he was pretty much just relaxing when we saw him. We got to within about 50 feet of the dude. Perhaps trying to make the experience more thrilling, or perhaps seriously, Ernest told us to make sure we walked single file, and to follow any instructions he gave, but that if he just started running without giving us instructions, we should run too.

Unnecessary warning, as Fanya did little more than blink his eyes and breathe. It was the heat of the day, afterall, and he was all alone while some upstart young bull was off with the three ladies.


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