It was winter and the temperatures were freezing before the sun warmed up to full heat. In the early mornings, fog would rise from the river as if misting the windows to write some wonderful, wild, disappearing message. Steve got up to take a video, only to film a kudu leaping into the water to escape a pack of hunting wild dogs on the other side of the river. No person has exited a sleeping bag as fast as I did that morning.
The area around the camp was a mix of expansive golden grassland, fringed with forests and dotted with watery vistas occupied by hippos. On drives through the concession, we sat with the engine off with a breeding herd of elephants. We watched a herd of buffalo cross a grassland in a slow-motion wave of shadow. We followed fresh wild dog tracks right up to the main road of the village.
We watched a duel between zebra stallions that was a shock of violence. However, it also seemed to hold a ritual courteousness between rounds - rites of battle that didn't preclude biting and kicking in the most potent sense of the word. It was both dance and chaos - clouds of dust swirling in this great, grassed stadium.