Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 16/07/2011

That Colgate freshness

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there are any camp sites in the UK that has one of these roaming wild around the perimeter of the site? Actually the Nile Crocodile didn’t exactly roam much when we were there. After having completed our first game drive, checked into the camp and then been shown to our tent, we spotted this on the opposite bank, basking on a rock in the full sun’s heat.

If you’ve ever been to a zoo with climates comparable to, or colder than the UK you tend to regard members of the crocodilian family as a possible hoax, so still and motionless are they, as if a plastic model has been put into the cage for the benefit of the tourists. This is not always the case, and I had great pleasure watching a very large and active Mississippi Alligator at the North Wales Mountain Zoo but this tends to be an exception in the UK. You can therefore, possibly, excuse my cynicism when spotting the croc supposing it was a model put there to “wow” the newly arrived guests.

I was wowed, I admit it, I had wanted to see a wild croc prior to the trip, so to realise a goal within the first hour of being in camp was a real coupe. I was even more wowed when I saw the creature move, dispelling the plastic model suspicions! The creature lay on the rock thirty minutes turning round every now and then after which it made it’s way down to the water to cool off before re-emerging to bask in the heat of the afternoon.

After numerous photos, we had to depart for an evening game drive. It was too dark to see whether it was still there when we returned (I didn’t have a powerful enough torch to see whether there was any ‘eye shine’ either) and we never did see the croc again, but claw marks in the river bank mud at various spots around the camp lay testament to its continuing presence there. Having witnessed how far out of the water a croc can propel itself, I’m glad I didn’t lean too far out over the river to get a better view of the tracks (you’ll have to wait to see the photos that show how far they can get!).


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