It was day three. We were on our afternoon game drive, minus one person: Wendy. She was tired, so decided to stay behind in camp and take a nap in her tent. But camp director, Laura, had joined us in her place.
The forecast for the afternoon was clear skies, or so we thought. The wind whipped itself into a frenzy as rain pelted us in the safari vehicles. (They do have a top, but are open-sided, which doesn’t offer much protection when the rain is aiming at you sideways.) We grabbed the rain ponchos from beneath the seats and, depending on one’s priorities, covered ourselves or our camera equipment. I wrapped up my Nikon DSLR real good. So there we were, hunkered down, waiting for the downpour to let up when a call came over Laura’s radio asking her to come back to camp. There was a mention of “a problem” and “wind” and a question of who was in tent 6 (or tent 5 – I forget which was which). Bobbie and I were in tent 7.
One of the jeeps took Laura, along with Pat and Mike (the occupants of the questioned tent number), back while the rest of us puzzled over the cryptic communication. But we were assured that everything was okay.
Yeah….the same wind and rain storm that hit us, hit the camp. We returned to the incredible story of the wind gust (or whatever it was) that carried away tents 5 and 6 – one of them with Wendy in it. She had been laying on her cot, sleeping, only to awaken as she was being rolled up with the tent and all its contents – kinda like a burrito. Pat & Mike’s tent just blew away – they never did find all of their stuff. (Here they are before their tent decided to visit Oz.)
Thanks to the wonderful camp staff, Wendy was quickly rescued, or should we say “unwrapped.” Crazily, she was found underneath her cot but the cot was still upright; no one’s quite sure how that happened. She was shaken, but uninjured, so continued on with us on safari…minus her toothbrush.