Vic Falls is a town set in the wild, we all know that, but I have to say things have escalated a little lately.
Usually it’s just elephants demolishing trees outside our wall, and hyenas calling in the night.
But recently we had a leopard coming into town for TFC (tame, fresh chicken). It started on the road just around the corner from us.
In fact, some pictures were sent around on WhatsApp (I’m not sure who took them, so photo credit goes to An Awesome Vic Falls Resident).
Next minute, a dog went missing- this time a little closer.
Soon, coffee conversation among friends turned to concern over the safety of their own dogs, and where to lock them up at night.
I thought this was brilliant. After all, water cooler conversations never got this exciting in New Zealand.
But then one night we heard our own dogs going crazy. Despite Will’s efforts to shut them up. They persisted, and we spent a relatively sleepless night cursing our dogs and wondering whether they, or newborns, were worse.
The next day, when Will got home, he looked at me – guilt written all over his face.
‘The leopard was out again last night. It walked right past us.’
That night our dogs, mongrel breeds though they be, slept inside too.
And it’s not just the leopard roaming outside our wall. About a month ago we were farewelling some guests, standing in the garden, when we heard a faint bellowing.
“Lion!” I whisper-yelled.
We all went silent. Stars cut through the clear night above us. Moonlight landed softly on our lush, green garden. The most beautiful evening breeze washed over our warm skin, and we held our breath to listen to mighty roar-bellow of the most famous beast in Africa.
And every night, for about a month, we were serenaded by that wonderful creature- sometimes in the evening, sometimes in the middle of the night, sometimes upon waking in the morning.
Without fail, we stopped to listen.
The lion came as close as the edge of town, about a kilometer from us, and the lucky ones got to see them (from the safety of their cars).
We didn’t, but even the soundtrack was enough for me.
Then, a couple of days ago we got a message from a friend. About 300m from their house they had found the reason for all the fuss from the lions:
“Wow,” I thought to myself. “Life honestly doesn’t get cooler than living amidst all this.
“Unless you’re the Zebra or the Buffalo I suppose.”