Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Holy Batman!

If Hitchcock lived in Kruger National Park, his movie would have been called The Bats, not The Birds.

Tuesday evening, as we sat in the balcony of the restaurant at Olifants, enjoying the last rays of the day's sunset and munching away at our dinners, a swarm of bats exploded forth from behind us. We were startled to see the dusky sky fill up with furry fruit bats fervently flapping their wings as they careened across the river below heading south towards the shrub forest.

Every couple minutes a new wave of bats would dive bomb our heads and joining the growing flock of flying mammals in the great beyond. Curious about where the bats were coming from, I hazarded a look behind me, only to have a madly flapping bat nearly collide with my face. In pure terror, I dodged the bat only to bash my head into the balcony railing, which hurt surprisingly a lot. (Apparently, the bats nest under the eaves of every building in the camp, including that of the restaurant where we were dining.)

To top off our bat viewing, we witnessed the impressive skill of a starling which caught a bat mid-air and happily chomped away it while calmly beating its wings to stay aloft. If only I was so nonplussed to be amid a swarm of bats.


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