Mozambique Diary: On the benefits of being lazy

A Gorongosa crocodile sliding into the Urema River.
A Gorongosa crocodile sliding into the Urema River.

Since I needed for one of my book projects a few shots of the famous Gorongosa crocodiles, which rank among the largest in Africa, I asked for help from Bob Poole, a man with considerable crocodile experience. Bob is a legendary National Geographic cameraman who shot, among other NatGeo titles, “Africa’s Lost Eden” and “War Elephants.”
We decided to set up a blind near one of the crocodiles’ basking beaches on the night before, arrive when it was still dark and sneak into the hide, and photograph the animals from there. But we both felt a bit lazy, and in the end did not leave the camp until the late morning, when the sun was already up.

Bob Poole holding all that remains of his hide, and his tripod dragged into the river by a crocodile.
Bob Poole holding all that remains of his hide, and his tripod dragged into the river by a crocodile.

When we got to our spot we found an empty beach, with not a trace of the hide. Or rather, all that we found were traces of the hide, which had been ripped off its stakes still embedded in the ground, and dragged under water by an enormous crocodile. Luckily, the beast did not take Bob’s tripod, which we found in the mud nearby.

I am not a morning person, and never in my life did I feel more grateful for that. Had we been in the hide before dawn as planned, there is no telling how our little adventure would have ended. I think I will continue sleeping in.

Tracks of the crocodile that took, and most likely ate, our hide.
Tracks of the crocodile that took, and most likely ate, our hide.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Melody says:

    That must have made the hair on the back of your neck stand up. I hope your wife was able to sleep after reading this!

  2. James C. Trager says:

    So glad we didn’t lose you to the belly of the beast!

  3. marksolock says:

    Reblogged this on Mark Solock Blog.

  4. soaringseal says:

    Not nearly as dangerous as these crocks but Bittentail a would have been seven foot gator, grabbed and dragged my camera and tripod into his pond on a subsequent timelapse. It was nerve wracking trying to hook the tripod and camera without hooking the gator. https://vimeo.com/35177261

  5. NOT something that you should be making visible to your wife until you are back home.

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