Walking With Cheetahs 2011 travel blog

Tonight we had promised a couple of the girls we'd stay up and play cards with them.. though they have to show us how to play!!

It had been an exhausting day, walked the caracals, walked the junior baboons, did some gardening etc but it should be a fun night playing a game of rummy.

By late afternoon we could see the sky getting dark and occassionally hear the rumbles of thunder. Debra did say she wanted to see an African storm but probably from the safety of a solid building.. preferably a house of some sort.

The storm appeared to go around us so we thought all is good. During dinner you could start to see lightning, it was fascinating everyone.

We decided we'd still stay up for cards as it didn't seem close and there had been no indication of rain. Around 7pm we started our game of rummy. The lightning was increasing but still not much thunder followed. We got through our first game (Megan won)and was in the middle of our second.

Suddenly, lightning struck, thunder rolled and the sound of rain (not to mention the destinct smell of rain coming) and everyone literally scattered!! For us poor tent people we have to run past the boundary gate, in the dark, on an uneven unlit path. We all scattered in the direction of our rooms/tents shouting if anyone needs help (some people are staying in tents alone) but not really hanging around to get an answer. Tanya, a lovely British lady was hot on our heels - she's in a tent alone - with this whirring sound coming from her. We turned around to her and bellowed, "what the hell is that noise?" Tanya has a... wind up torch!!! WTF??? We were in hysterics at this contraption that she has to wind up in order for it to shine a light, but it also has a radio, an alarm and probably a swiss army knife in there somewhere too... But when the next clap of thunder sounded, we were no longer interested in Tanya's wind up torch, we fled.

We made it to the 'safety' of our tent just as the rain began to poor. We quickly got into our pjs and jumped into bed. Unfortunately, we had a screen door open so we could still see the lightning light up outside our tent, so all sorts of imaginary things went through our heads... namely scary shadows appearing on our deck.

Within minutes the outside lit up like nothing then an extremely loud clap of thunder shook the place instantly.. F*&k!!! its overhead!!! and we're in a bloody canvas tent that has a metal frame over it!!! OMFG!!!!

The lightning and thunder continued for probably another 15 min but we could tell it was moving away - we certainly didn't have anything that close again. However, after the storm was subsiding we heard something else... the wind picked up. But it comes in gusts and its a strange gushing sound, like an engine revving but the scary thing was, watching the walls of the tent coming in then blow out, come in then blow out.. freaky.

We did make a brave move to duck outside and gather some rocks to put at the foot of our 'front door' to stop it from blowing in. Sounded like a good idea however no sooner had we jumped back in bed that we not only had the sound of gushing wind, the screen front door blowing in but now we also had the sound of rocks rolling over our wooden deck! the wind was too strong for the rocks to keep the screen in place.

I said to Karen, do you want to move our beds together to feel safer. Karen said, they're probably too heavy to move. I thought well that's a good thing then, at least the tent won't blow away!! I suggested we turn the lanterns off so as not to see the walls of the tent cave in on us then blow out again....

Our first storm in the desert.... in a canvas tent.... covered by a metal frame!! Wasn't fun at the time so it must have been an adventure!! LOL

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