While I was in Mozambique, I celebrated what will surely be one of the most memorable birthdays of my life! The fact that my hunt coincided with my birthday was mere happenstance, but sometimes the best things come from unexpected circumstances! My day began with a rousing round of birthday wishes and after a great breakfast Hennie, Christine, Tonie, Coert and I headed out to the Argo camp, where we loaded up into two Argos and headed into the Zambezi River delta. An Argo is an eight-wheeled amphibious off- road vehicle, meaning that it can navigate any terrain from dry ground to flowing rivers and everything in between. It is not a luxurious ride but if you need its capabilities, it certainly morphs into one. After a long day we pulled into base camp tired, wet and hungry and I immediately headed in for an eagerly anticipated hot shower. When I emerged, I was stunned by what I saw! Anton, Coert and the crew were busy around the hardwood fire, grilling a sumptuous meal that included thick, fresh calamari steaks (from the biggest calamari I have ever seen) and gorgeous, velvety red snapper. It was a fine and unexpected feast, complete with a lovely champagne toast! Little did I know that there was more to come – the kitchen staff had made me the most luscious birthday cake I have ever had. The cake itself was a dense, moist, custard-like vanilla that was draped with a thick, gooey fudge and nut frosting. I never did find out what kind of cake it was but the memory of its sweet taste, and even sweeter sentiment, will stay with me for the rest of my life. After another rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday!”, the staff preformed a native drum-and-dance recital for me. I was thoroughly honoured and impressed by their efforts. It was a birthday celebration that was very different from the ones I have had in the past and definitely one of the most memorable!
In addition to harvesting a Cape buffalo, one of my other “bucket list” items is to visit each of the globe’s five oceans, so on my last day in camp, I went by helicopter to the coast so I could dip my feet in the Indian Ocean. It was a quick 45-minute flight and as a bonus I was able to see even more herds of game from the sky. When we landed on that secluded beach, I went for a long walk down the white sand and thought about all I had done in the preceding two weeks, and how each of those experiences was a little “drop” in my life’s journey. Thanks to the thoughtfulness of the camp staff, I had a lovely glass of wine to enjoy as I strolled along the shore. With the balmy ocean breeze in my hair, I walked and, picking up shells and sand dollars along the way, thought it was the perfect ending to a fabulous trip! ASM