Unless the elephant have moved, we are about 3o minutes from the waterhole. My concerns and worry about the elephant will increase as we get closer to the waterhole. Between here and there, I’m more worried about anything else we might encounter. The three of us are well aware that we need to be extra careful do to the nearby lion attack. Makali did not see any lion signs earlier this morning when he hiked to the waterhole, and even though we are probably not in the same area as the rouge lion pack, we can’t take any chances. Our guests don’t know about our added danger. When a lion becomes a man-eater, the hunter becomes the hunted. Makali is leading us to the waterhole, but watching, listening, and smelling for simba also. Just another walk in the park.
The cool wind is in our face, and the air is filled with the fragrance of heather and lily’s. We passed a beautiful flowering tree, called the Jacaranda. This time of year, it is in full bloom with bright violet-blue flowers. Most of the thorny bush we are walking through is the Bourgainvilla. It also has blooms of many colors: yellow, crimson, white, and pink. We pass a low mossy bog, near a group of acacia trees, and I can hear the frogs and crickets. There is also the faint sound of pied crows and thrushes. I could hear Tom breathing a little heavy. I’d rather not stop for a rest. We are not walking too far. Benga let out a whistle. He is about 5 steps to my left.
I give a halt sign. Benga is pointing about 5 yards in front of me.
“Nondo (very large snake),” Benga said.
“Cobra, Bwana. Careful,” Makali added.
The snake is coiled and prepared to strike. My Judge is loaded with 45 not the shotgun shells. I quickly reload with three 410 cartridges.
“We are too close to ele, don’t want to shoot. Benga scare it away, if can. Guys, stand still,” I say in a whisper.
Benga grabs a stick and start slapping the ground at his feet. Makali throws several rocks close to the snake. The cobra uncoils and moves away from us.