Pt 5 – The Lady Bowhunts African Elephant
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Pt 5 – The Lady Bowhunts African Elephant

By Teressa Groenewald

Oct 8, 2007 – 8:18:35 AM

May 15

The Gunguwe.

The Gunguwe River, the hardest and most difficult day of all.  If I never see that place again it will be too soon.  I’ve never been to a jungle, but if it’s anything like the Gunguwe, I don’t ever want to go.  The bush, grass and trees were so thick you couldn’t see the person in front of you if he was more than 3 feet away.  We could tell the elephants were there by the knee deep tracks in the mud.  Unfortunately, to find the elephants, we had to follow their tracks.  This day, their tracks were in Gunguwe.  It was 100% miserable. 

Hard to spot Python tires of our company and slides up a tree for other things to do.

After only about three or four hundred yards of fighting through the bush we had to take a break.  Nikki spotted a large python that was somewhere around 8ft long while we were standing in the shade.  It was a beautiful snake, but he soon tired of our company and climbed the tree we were standing under. 

We only made it a few hundred yards more before Dudley decided that it was an exercise in futility to chase elephants in that stuff.  We did jump a small herd of buffalo while we were taking our second break.  They were less than 10 yards away from us. 

We may as well have been looking with our eyes closed because there was no possible way to see them.  We finally made our way out of there and had the truck pick us up.  Innocent had gone off with one of the locals to see if they could spot any of the elephant.  They did, of course.

Our crew of dedicated souls intent on helping me get my elephant.

 However, they were on the other end of the valley.  I was so glad to get out of Gunduwe and onto some good dry ground.  It seemed like every time we turned or stopped something was grabbing at me or I was tripping in an elephant track or getting smacked and tied up in a vine. 

A few hours later we relocated the elephant. We hiked around the river valley, avoiding the thick bush at almost all costs until we were forced to go in after the elephants. 

It was so thick we couldn’t go at a nice pace.  By the time we got to where the elephants were, they were long gone.  Instead of back tracking the way we’d come, we decided to take the shortest route out, almost exactly the same route we’d taken hours before. 

Backtracking sounded and looked better to me.    I was completely wiped out.  My legs felt a bit strange and sore as hell.  I must admit after going through hell today, I am completely impressed with Dudley.  He is really working hard to get me this elephant.  I hope I can pull it off and not let him down.  

More tomorrow:


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