(c) DJT 2002

Don't Be Complacent, Especially in Wild Places

Familiarity breeds contempt, even in the wilderness. This is especially true if you are bored or tired. Do not be complacent while walking in wild places, especially if there are alligators, caymans or crocodiles.

I was on foot near the Letaba river in South Africa and was actually hoping to see crocodiles and other large animals. Not seeing any, I became bored. I went down to the river's edge and walked along the bank.

After I had walked some distance, a large crocodile slid swiftly into the river, just a couple of yards in front of me. The undergrowth was too dense to walk away from the river. I had to retrace my steps back to the path, expecting at each instant to be snatched by the crocodile. I stayed close to the river for about a fortnight and saw crocodiles every day after that. I regularly saw one large crocodile that was probably the one I had disturbed. I also saw hippos, regarded by many as even more dangerous.

The above obviously applies to African safari holidays but the same advice also applies if you travel in countries where there are animals such as bears, mountain lions or wild boars. Magnificent they may be but you will not enjoy the view while they are goring, biting or tearing at you.

I repeat, do not become complacent!


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