By Alli Cerretani (University of Vermont ’15)
The morning of Thursday, March 6th started out innocently enough. We left our base camp at Wereldsend at 8 am for a practice game drive before it got too hot. After an hour of counting creatures in the savanna and recording data on their whereabouts, we concluded the drive and began to head back to camp. On our way back we spotted six male giraffes peeking over the crest of a hill. We had noted their presence earlier in the game drive, but we were definitely surprised and excited to see them up close. Vehi stopped the truck and we watched the giraffes meander into the middle of the road barely 200 meters from us. We spent the better part of an hour watching them tentatively investigate the veterinary fence separating Torra conservancy from Palmwag concession, every once in a while glancing at the strange vehicle watching their every move. All the while two of the males were sparring with each other to test their strength, swinging their long necks around and hitting each other with their heads. After taking literally hundreds of pictures, we abandoned our intent to pass them and turned around to allow them to peacefully continue on their way, watching their stoic silhouettes disappear into the horizon as we took our lengthy detour through Palmwag concession. It was definitely the greatest road block any of us have ever come across, and we spent the drive back to Wereldsend in a contented stupor.