Updated: Aug 11
If one expects to come to the African Bush for peace and quiet, then at night, one will be sadly mistaken. At Mukolo Camp, the night comes alive with the most glorious symphony of sound.
As dusk surrenders itself to the night skies, the start of the symphony is announced by the shrill calls of the Woodland Kingfisher.
Everyone settled, the choir now in place, the symphony commences with the cicadas, followed by the frogs, and then joined by the crickets. At this point, a myriad of creatures, I have no clue who they are, lend their voice to a symphony that is growing in volume by the minute.
I don’t know much about orchestras, but if there was a trombone, then surely it has to be the hippo. At regular random times in the night the hippo enters the stage. It matters not to him whether he is in tune or not.
Last night we were entertained by Luciano the Lion. Probably 3 to 5 kilometres away, across the floodplain, his majestic voice filled the air. Out of respect and awe, every other creature fell silent. When a lion roars, you don’t hear him. You feel him. Every cavity in your body is filled, right down to your boots. He is the King of Symphony.
And then it is the turn of the fruit bats. In stereo, quadraphonic, as they flit between the trees, squeaking here, then there.
As dawn approaches, the symphony slows down in pace, and one is treated to the haunting hoots of the owls, and the lovely tunes of the nightjars. Overhead are the passing calls of the lapwings and Dikkops.
And then we are treated to the final crescendo. As night gives way to dawn, the choir is joined by the Spurfowl, and then the Robin-Chat, the Bulbul, and then dozens of song birds.
Basking in glorious sound, the final curtain is usually a dig in the ribs
“Up you get, it's your turn to make the tea!”
(Directly across the Kwando River floodplain, no more than 2 kilometres as the crow flies, is the shoreline of the Bwabwata Game Reserve. From July to November we follow the channels along the shoreline by boat, viewing Elephant and Plains Game. On occasions Lion and Leopard have been spotted.)