acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sleepless in Selati

Well its the middle of the night and i am wide awake. Whats going on?
Most unlike me - I am not a natural insomniac by any stretch. So I
gave up pretending to be asleep - assisted by a very persistent
mosquito who had found her way into my net.
And now I am in the kitchen. I have been pouring over a map of
mozambique - planning a lovely road trip to exotic sounding coastal
destinations, and then accross to the Lake. Anyone have info on the
road to Lichinga? Its marked as 'scenic' but I know those mountains
are HUGE and the main roads are not that great so a mountain track
could be extreme.

There is a security issue in our area at the moment. A gang of four,
who strike at farmsteads in the night (usually but not always) and
shoot people while stealing their cars. Its not a fun thought, and for
many people living on farms here - there is no backup you can call
that could come to your assistance in time...if at all.

People have been phoning - warning us to be on the look out. How many
warnings can you brush off? Yesterday K was walking and came accross
the tracks of people. We checked if anti-poaching were in our area -
the Warden said not. So these are people who shouldnt be here. The
tracks went into the mountain behind our house. We called in a bunch
of anti-poaching trackers. They are sleeping in the old house just
down the track. A ruined building that the ground hornbills have
knocked all the window panes out off.

The lions have been calling all night from the plains infront of the
old house. Those guys are going to be sleepy later today when they
are on the trail of the poachers.
And so will i be probably...but I am quite liking this solitary quiet
time in the night. The fridges are humming loudly. During the day I
dont even hear them.

I discovered i can make coffee by the standby lights on the phone
charger! It is amazing how bright they are.

There has been a cheetah nearby for the past couple of days. I first
came accross it when i was driving to the gate in the rain. It had
killed a young impala next to the track, and was reluctant to leave
it, but sprang up and ran back a little bit waiting for me to leave
the scene. I didnt stay too long. Cheetahs need to eat fast, before
the birds or other predators arrive on the scene.

Yesterday morning the cheetah was in front of the house. K was on the
stoep talking to a pal on the cell phone, when suddenly - there
infront of him - a cheetah racing into a herd of impala. Impala
scattering in all directions. A cheetah giving chase - but
unsucessfully. It then stopped in the shade of a small thorn tree to
catch its breath and cool down. The sun was well up, and it was
already too hot to be burning so much energy.

Its funny but quite often, if we are talking on the cell phone
outside, the guinea fowl come and stand near us calling loudly. I
think they think that is what we are doing and they should join in? Or
maybe they think we have seen an eagle in the sky and are alarm
calling? either way it makes it very difficult to hear the other
person speak.

Did I mention it was full moon yesterday and outside it is as bright
as day?

Oh well, enough idle chatter. Dawn is around the corner and surely I
will be sleepy soon. Thanks for sitting up with me.

oh and if you would like to know more about mozambique try this website



Lorac said...

Sorry to hear you are having trouble in your area. That would keep me awake. Hopefully it will not be trouble for you! Cheetahs must be lovely to see they are such a beautiful animals. Stay safe Val. I will be thinking of you!

Kerry said...

Oh, Botswana. Please be a safer place. Be careful.

Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

And I thought having lions at your patio table was dangerous! Hearing about prowlers of the human variety striking isolated homes is very scarey. Stay safe!

Anonymous said...

Hopefully they'll be lion fodder. . . . .
that moon is beautiful now, it even managed to make Joburg feel acceptable last night!
Cheetah hunt on the lawn - sigh, even longer sigh --- whooo hooooo!!
sleep tite, sweet dreams when you do sleep

Val said...

hi Lorac - the cheetah sighting was awesome - my first in this area. No, we cant live in fear - just take whatever precautions we can and be aware.

Kerry - we are in South Africa at the moment - due to return to Botswana very soon

Bonnie - I must admit i feel happier when the lions are about!

Janet - yes quite :-)

thanks dear bloggy pals - xxxV

Angela said...

Oh my God Val! Please be careful!! What a life! Do you have a gun to chase at least those murderers away? Now I am reluctant to go away to Hamburg and leave you unwatched!
Haha, and I thought our baby-christening was an exciting thing.
Oh my.

Miranda said...

Pam says the baboons watch her puzzled as she stands under her outdoor shower. Why is it only raining in that spot and why is that lady standing under it! Something like the guineafowl I guess! Keep safe xx

Wanda..... said...

Your soon to be "extreme" mountain excursion caught my interest, with the lions and cheetahs, it all sounds exciting to me, but reading of the mystery human tracks and murderers in the area, suddenly it was very frightening to such a case, I imagine lions are welcomed, for protection in a way.
Be safe and take care...Wanda

Anne said...

Your life among the wild animals seems so exciting to be able to view them up close and personal, but when I read about the murderers in the area, I did get scared for you.
Take care and be safe.

Lori ann said...

val, i loved sitting up with you, and i loved this post.everything except the worry part. i'm going to wish with all my heart that the trouble makers disappear (janets idea was good)and you have no more worries of that kind.
yes, take the precautions that you can, but continue to enjoy the spectacular world you live in.
hornbills break out windows?? good grief!
and cheetahs and lions, impala...oh my!
love, lori

Anonymous said...

Much exciting goings on, some positive, some not so, but it's the real Africa for sure. You both take care and stay safe.

Fire Byrd said...

Another wonderful post full of atmosphere I could almost see that cheetah.
I think guinea fowl must be like children, who only appear and NEED to talk to you the minute you've got on the phone!

Vagabonde said...

Living in Africa does sound romantic but beware of the humans more than the animals. I went to Algeria three times with no problems but when some of our trainees returned there, their village was gun down and two of them were killed. Humans are too violent. I hope that you will stay safe and if you go to Mozambique plan your trip well.

Kristin said...

Thanks for sharing your night with us.

Charl said...

Thanks again for keeping us in touch with your paradise. I remember those stink bugs so well, from my days in Pafuri. Remember vividly how they spoiled a huge pan of paella one evening.
Keep safe friends. Will keep you in my prayers.