A unique experience

Posted on 7 April 2015 by Part of Africa


After a tumultuous night with a lot of lightning, loud thunder, and rain, we woke up at 5am to discover that we had no power. We looked outside and noticed that it was still cloudy; still we decided to go on a game drive. Most of the times you don’t see many animals when it’s cloudy, but you never know.

Luckily the power went back on around 6am, just in time to make some coffee. The ranger had to wait another 10 minutes, but after the coffee we were ready to go. Bag packed with hot water, coffee, and muffins – and our cameras charged. The temperature was very nice, but it was still cloudy.

We saw some impala while driving up to one of the waterholes, apart from that we didn’t see much. There weren’t even any birds in the trees yet; it probably was still too cold for them.

Getting closer to the waterhole our ranger noticed a spotted hyena. We were excited because normally you don’t see them during daytime. It was a young male hyena; he was very curious. At first it seemed as if he was going to walk away, but he changed his mind and started getting closer to the vehicle. We couldn’t believe our eyes. It was beautiful to see him from this distance!

He turned around and continued his way to the waterhole. We followed him, very slowly as we didn’t want to scare him off.

But the hyena didn’t seem to mind our presence at all. At first he started drinking and after that decided to take a long bath. It was amazing to witness this, as hyenas are usually very shy! After his bath, we expected him to walk away, but he decided to walk our way and check out the game drive vehicle. At a certain moment we couldn’t see him anymore. We knew that he was in front of the vehicle, but what was he doing? We will never know – maybe the vehicle smelled interesting – but after a couple of minutes he showed himself again. He turned around, went back to the waterhole and the show started all over again.


In the meantime our ranger contacted the only other ranger on a game drive that morning. This was a sight to share with other co-owners. The hyena only looked up when they arrived, but carried on with what he was doing; drinking, taking a bath, splashing. When he was “finally” done, he ran away.

The remainder of that drive we didn’t see too many animals, but that spotted hyena was the bonus for that day – it was truly a unique experience!