Have you ever had that “maybe this wasn’t such a good idea” feeling? Standing in the middle of a charred area surrounded by African brush and short trees, I had that feeling. This was not a standard tourist safari we were on. We were about the only visitors to the large Niassa Game Reserve in northern Mozambique. It was a “do it yourself” type of safari without any of the safety precautions like “always stay inside the vehicle”, which I now see as a very good idea. But then again, if we had stayed inside the car, we probably would not have seen the zebras and wildebeests either. We had been searching to view an elephant as we drove through the brush, but were not having any success.
We drove to an area where the little native guide we had hired had seen elephants feeding before, and he was fairly sure that we would see one there. Stopping the car, he told us to follow him. We walked single file, leaving the car far behind, quietly following our guide until he stopped in a clearing. He motioned for us to stay where we were while he crept into the brush. When he came back, he excitedly said that there were two feeding in a gully, one a really large male, but it was too risky for all of us to go and see. He motioned for my husband to come with the camera. Standing there, waiting for them to return was probably one of the longer 3 minutes I have spent—that’s when the “maybe this wasn’t such a good idea” feeling came on strongly. They returned with the guide looking a bit agitated, saying that we must leave immediately because the wind had shifted and he only saw one elephant now. Sometimes they can pick up a scent of a person and circle around and charge. Of course we insisted on staying to see if this was true…no, we headed back as quickly as our feet could silently speed walk to the car. We have a nice camouflaged picture of the seat of an elephant now.
Good ideas and bad ones can be camouflaged too. We can be overly focused on ideas of what we need or want. I have pushed some ideas through that, upon reflection, were elephants. Sometimes those elephantish ideas are better left alone. Maybe this would be a good idea—to be content with what we have already.