You're in my way

We camped at the top of an escarpment, from which we could look out over the plain. Below us were two large pools of water which were greatly valued by the elephants. At dawn, we descended to the plain and sat next to the pool, waiting for the arrival of elephants. We watched the crocodile's eyes just above the surface of the water, watching us.

Gradually, the cool air warmed up as, above the grey blanket of clouds which heralded the coming rainy season, the sun rose. Sweat prickled on my brow as I scanned the banks of the pool with my binoculars, and the group of birds opposite us became a name - Senegal Thick-Knees - because of their unusually large eyes. They took to flight and flew across the pool, suddenly becoming much more visible because of the white markings on their wings, but when they landed, it was as if they disappeared as they closed their wings.

The smallest of noises made us turn around. We looked at the elephant, and he looked at us. We thought to ourselves that we were on its direct path into the water, and the elephant thought impenetrable elephantine thoughts for what seemed an age. At last, he turned aside, ponderously approached the bank and silently launched himself into the water.

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