Rent collectors, unwelcome.

On the way to Jeffreys-bay from Cape St-Francis, I had to camp in the dunes just past the Kromme rivier. I had followed some dodgy advice from a local, or maybe it was my dodgy hearing. Anyway I crossed on the main bridge instead of swimming the river. I had been led to believe that the bridge was only about 1 km from the river mouth and would be easy. Yup! easy it wasn’t.  I ended up doing about a 7 km detour along the mud flats and lost a good chunk of time. What is it about people who drive cars? 5 mins in a car is about an hour and a half on foot.  Furthermore 5 mins is not 1 km.

The wind had picked up once again and the only sheltered spot I could find was rather tight for space. I had enough space to spread my sleeping bag out and lay my backpack at my feet, before a wall of vegetation closed me in. My main concern was the possibility of a snake joining me for a social slumber party while I slept. I was also looking forward to waking early to take a photo of the sun rising over the sea. Up till now it had risen on land behind the mountains, this often resulted in an unspectacular display.

Just as dawn was breaking, I became aware of a strange sound close by. The sound slowly worked its way through my groggy slumber, it sounded like a cross between a bird chattering and an insect chirping. It was really close, suddenly my brain fired on all cylinders and I sat bolt upright. At the end of my bed, less than a meter from my kit stood a Honey badger, staring at me.

Now if you have ever seen a honey badger, he looks like a muscle bound rent collecting thug, dressed in a skull cap and cape. Pound for pound, he is the meanest, toughest and most aggressive character we have in Africa. He is built like a tank, permanently engaged in 4 wheel drive and has the tenacity of a pit bull. Like all thugs, he also has a reputation that precedes him. He stared me down and I got the distinct impression that this thug was going to tip me upside down and shake me for my wallet.

At this point things got interesting to say the least, I shouted hey! and he took it as an invitation to come forward. I then proceeded to execute some spectacular Kung-fu moves. My limbs shot out in fifteen directions simultaneously while I proceeded to beat my sleeping bag to death. My voice jumped 6 octaves and went from a deep throaty roar to a high pitched, glass shattering, teenage girls horror movie squeal. Miraculously the gap increased instantaneously to 2 m, as by now I was unsuccessfully trying to climb up the pencil thin branches of the surrounding vegetation. In nano seconds my camp-site looked like a missile strike as sleeping bag, kit and ground sheet exploded into hundreds of directions while I put on my best drag queen act ever.

I am not sure why, but at this point he turned and half ambled off down the dune, chirruping away. I suspect he actually rolled down the dune holding his sides laughing. His mate then choose to pop her head out the bush as they did their Kray twin act, climbed over my back pack and trotted off down the dune. I am sure I will be the crux of many a conversation in their den for many a year.

I on the other hand, choose to shut my gaping mouth, reach for cigarettes and pretend nothing unusual had happened.

3 Responses to “Rent collectors, unwelcome.

  • Mark miller
    11 months ago

    Lol thats a picture in my mind Deano.
    Hope your ok and still enjoying the adventure .
    Xxxxxx

  • Another amazing adventure to add to the others … what a story

  • Sjoe dean.
    When you told me these honey badgers lived near the coast i had my doubts…
    That’s a scary visior mate. Respect!

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