LOIS M. GORDON is a world traveler who resides in California’s Silicon Valley. She has spent her life as wife and mother, chairing several committees and indulging in her passion for reading and writing poetry.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we venture out into our world, travel can consist of a day visit to the closest towns or a journey that will place our feet clear on the other side of the world. It is all about discovery and about everywhere we walk. So, COME – EXPLORE WITH ME.

                                     

 

 

 

Zambia

 

 

 

In less than a heartbeat calm becomes chaos. Life and death are at equal points and to live means escaping at speeds you were unaware you could attain.

 

Everyone has stories of disaster bearing down, but not everyone can capture it in words that others can relive, through them.

 

It was one of those incidents that you hear about around the campfire in Africa. Not one you’d ever think of experiencing first hand but it was sixty seconds of pure adrenaline that is burned into a memory forever. And it reminds you that the magic of the African bush is addictively alluring and can turn into something very different in the blink of an eye.

 

Chikwenya Island is the biggest island in the Zambezi River, about five miles long. The magic of Africa is concentrated on the banks of this mighty river and it absorbs you and you know that somehow you will always be drawn back to these parts, if only in your memory.

 

On the floodplains and in the beautiful riverine woodland bush are all kinds of game. The air is filled with the symphony of the bird’s calls with their clicks, whistles, screeches and songs.

 

And so it was, in the cool of the early morning light, that we went upstream in a pontoon boat and landed on the island in a quiet channel. We had been walking on the island for about 2 ½ hours, Sacha, our guide, explaining how different the habitat is from the mainland less than a mile away when suddenly, just like that, a herd of elephants was running right to left on a diagonal angle toward us, about 150 yards away.

 

“Oh, shit! Run! RUN!!” “Run for cover” was all we heard…

 

Sacha was somehow now between us and an elephant as the echo of “Keep running! Get behind something!” filled the air. Heart pounding, I scrambled toward a big tree pressing myself against the back-side, heart wishfully thinking the charging behemoth, her ears spread wide, her trunk raised high, wouldn’t know I was there.

 

At that moment Sacha raised his rifle and fired. The elephant stopped in a cloud of dust. After a moment’s hesitation, she snorted and with a dramatic swing of her gigantic head, she lumbered off to rejoin her herd.

 

At that precise moment, I have never felt so alive!

 

We stood in a group together, bonded by what we had just survived, largely thanks to the skill and calm professionalism of our highly trained safari guide’s worst nightmare – ten frenzied elephants charging five exposed clients in the African bush.

 

And we are reminded, yet again, that Africa’s beauty is beguiling.

 

 

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