I've been living in a tent now for about five weeks. As I wrote in one of my first blogs 'From corporate to camp life', it's actually easier than I expected to adjust to living in tent. That doesn't mean it's always easy. Oh, and I should probably also clarify that the tents at EcoTraining's Karongwe camp are pretty fancy - they have proper beds with mattresses and linen. And they are so large that I cannot even reach the roof. So… it's not your typical hardcore camping.
I thought the two hardest things would be a) the heat and b) not having my own bathroom. Surprisingly the bathroom part has not been quite as annoying as I thought, but the heat can definitely be an issue on the real scorcher days. But the thing that is the most difficult, annoying and sometimes even scary, is the creatures. There is always something (and usually more somethings) living with you in your tent.
Our first tent was relatively good on the bug front because it was pretty new but we did have a resident lizard. We didn't mind him because he slept at night (so no noise) and we figured he was probably the reason there weren't too many other creepy crawlies in there with us (ie. he was munching them all).
Our second tent was a bit more problematic. Firstly there was a serious infestation of lady beetles. Now, it's difficult to complain about lady beetles because they are harmless and really quite lovely. That being said, I didn't really enjoy sharing my bed with them every night. I'd remove them from sheets, pillows, clothes. They were seriously everywhere. We also had some spiders and other assorted bugs as well as mosquitoes trouble us in that tent.
The next tent we moved to was brilliant for the first night. I thought I had hit the jackpot. However the next day I woke up with a dead spider in my bed with me. Then we came back from drive and I had a splitting headache, so I went to lie down on my bed. I got to the tent and thought I had better just check my bed before I climb onto it…well I pull back the covers and there is a little gecko staring back at me, protecting its two perfectly round white eggs that it had obviously laid that day. Needless to say I screamed, not because I am afraid of geckos, but more from the shock of finding one with its eggs literally IN MY BED. I wanted to get a good photo so I went to put one of the window flaps down, but then I find a centipede crawling on it, which then fell down to the ground (never to be seen again.. probably skulking in my sheets as we speak). Next to the window was another gecko. Then I noticed a huge moth also on our bed. This was all just a little overwhelming for me with my splitting headache (which I thought was the onset of a migraine) and so I left geckos, moths and centipedes to their own devices and went to lay down at the picnic tables in the main camp area. BUSH: 1, CARA: 0
EcoTraining says their students learn 24/7 being immersed in the bush on course … well, that certainly is true! I don’t even have to move beyond my tent and I will have passed my Entomology 101 with flying colours.
What will I find in there tonight? I guess it’s a new game for me to play… the bush lottery?
Wish me luck!