Written by Anne Schauffer
Pitch dark, alone, but not afraid. Always strange for me how, in an urban setting, the equivalent would be terrifying, but in the bush, not. It’s more of a heightened awareness, than fear. The Lodge is fully, securely fenced of course, but still. There’s always that sense of What If.
It’s 4:30am and I walk to the Hide, flicking my torch left and right. I slip in, close the door behind me, on with the kettle, quietly open the horizontal viewing window, tug down my beanie as the chill hits…and sit. Just sit. There’s a large waterhole a few metres away, gently lit, almost eye level. This is me solo, a steaming mug of tea, camera, binocs, and that sense of anticipatory elation. The silence is, like the darkness, almost unimaginably true, and then gradually, as your ears and eyes become accustomed, it’s not. The tiniest sound is a call to action – what is it, where is it? Bird or beast?