We departed Croc Valley on the 16th and left the crowds and rowdy monkeys behind for the peace and tranquility of Zikomo Camp. As has frequently been the case so far, we had the whole camp to ourselves. The camp was situated a little distance from the Zambezi River but the Puku, Baboons, Elephants and Hippos were plentiful and we had an almost panoramic view of the flatlands and dried ravines. I lit a fire late in the afternoon and prepared another gastronomical gourmet delight of sausage and foil wrapped snap peas, green beans and squash with butter. As we we finished eating, the local safari truck drove by on the flats with their spotlight arcing left and right over the dry terrain when they came to a stop not far from our site. They paused for a few minutes and then continued on back to the lodge. Joyce and I commented that if it was a lion or lions that they spotted then they probably would have stayed at that spot longer but wouldn’t it be funny if they came over to our site to let us know lions were in the area. Well probably 10 minutes later we see lights from a truck coming towards our camp. The Safari truck pulls up and four men get out. Two are decked out in guide outfits and the other are lodge employees. We tell them they’re too late for dinner. They tell us there is a male lion and two females right in our vicinity so we go to the banks of our site, shine our light and there sits a beautiful large male lion. We’re told the females are probably right behind or near us in the bush so keep our eyes open and off they go. It is very dark outside. We sit near the fire and listen and to be honest we were a bit apprehensive. Then……a loud roar followed by a guttural grunting. Damn! This lion is close! Now our site is such that you either face towards an area where the banks extend to the flat lands or, you face looking towards bush to the front and left and right of us. We faced the the larger area of view but behind us was the blind spot. We sat scanning the area, hair on the backs of our necks bristling, feeling something sneaking up behind us. It was getting late, around 8:00 pm so we figured it was probably time to go to bed. As we drew our sleeping bags over us another roar but this time further away. They had moved on. That was an exciting evening!
The next day and evening were uneventful but we did have hippos in the evening feeding very close to our site and on the morning of our departure on the 18th had a great close encounter from a visiting elephant.