We decided to go on a Night Safari before we left Kenya. I imagined a nightscape as busy and crowded with nocturnal creatures as the grasslands had been with diurnal animals during our day time safaris.
We left shortly after dinner and loaded into our jeep, night goggles in hand.
We drove and drove and drove. All the while our eyes followed the large spotlight that our guide swept across the dense foliage on either side of the narrow path that pretended to be a road. We saw, in a green hazy glare through our infrared binoculars, a few hares, bats, owls and elephants.
Despite straining our eyes we saw nothing more. We’d seen plenty of animals already during our three daylight safaris so we had no cause to complain but we’d hoped to see lions or leopards. They remained elusive.
One of our group got terribly carsick. The lack of a vista – our eyes could only see as far as the spotlight – and the bumpy road just did her in. I was surprised and thankful that I, usually the one with the weak stomach, didn’t feel queasy.
It was the one disappointment of the trip. We were being greedy. We should have been happy with all we’d already seen. We got back to the lodge just after ten pm. While enjoying a hot cocoa at the bar we gazed out at the watering hole. There we saw more animals than we’d seen on the drive. Oh well, one bad decision.