By Dale Jackson
We have been enjoying steady rains in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve over the last week or so. The river in front of Tanda Tula Safari Camp has been flowing and has created some interesting times when it comes to crossing rivers with supplies and arranging safe access for guests. There are certainly not many dull moments on an African safari! In the early hours of Friday morning I decided to go and inspect the river level from the bar deck. We had experienced heavy showers in the African bush during the night and I knew it wouldn’t take too much to get the river up and going again.
It was around three o’clock when I walked through to the bar deck and inspected the river. The river level hadn’t risen dramatically and so I took a minute to enjoy the pitter patter of rain and the background noise of the river running.
I went back towards the bar and was surprised to see glass and bottles lying everywhere! On closer inspection the lounge and bar area was in a state. Pillows and couches were in a shambles, lamps had been knocked over and books were lying everywhere. I couldn’t believe the chaos and took a moment to try and work out what had happened.
Running through different scenarios I pictured guests having a massive pillow fight or getting a bit tipsy and dancing on the bar! I hadn’t heard any loud noise from the bar area so ruled out the massive party which I had missed. I then pictured Thabo and Smiling having a disagreement after closing up after the guests had gone to bed, and coming to blows!! I pictured them wrestling through the lounge, bowling over books and lamps as they fought trying to gain the upper hand! The only problem I had with this theory is that Thabo and Smiling get on really well and I wouldn’t expect them to conduct themselves in this manor!
I worked my way through the lounge to investigate further and started putting books back, fixing up pillows and picking lamps up. I moved to the back of the lounge where a few pillows had been piled up around a coffee table, and started to replace them while cursing under my breath at the mess.
Suddenly, the pillows exploded into life and two honey badgers emerged from under the table! Well, I wish I could say I stood by bravely and chased them from the room, but standing there in my skimpy boxer shorts and slippers it may have been possible that I took fright slightly and screamed in a very high pitched tone!
I quickly regained my composure and chased the two little squatters past the kitchen into the bush! The mess in the lounge and bar area now all made sense. The two badgers had come in from the heavy rain had a ‘drink’ at the bar and then decided to check in for the evening. They had worked their way through the lounge until they had made themselves comfortable under the table with pillows piled on top of them.
After cleaning up I made my way home chuckling to myself at all the random scenarios I had come up with to explain the mess. Two honey badgers in a bar fight was not near the top of the list!!!!