By Piotr Naskrecki - Since I needed for one of my book projects a few shots of the famous Gorongosa crocodiles, which rank among the largest in Africa, I asked for help from Bob Poole, a man with considerable crocodile experience. Bob is a legendary National Geographic cameraman who shot, among other NatGeo titles, “Africa’s Lost Eden” and“War Elephants.”
Photo: A Gorongosa crocodile sliding into the Urema River.
We decided to set up a blind near one of the crocodiles’ basking beaches on the night before, arrive when it was still dark and sneak into the hide, and photograph the animals from there. But we both felt a bit lazy, and in the end did not leave the camp until the late morning, when the sun was already up.
Photo: Bob Poole holding all that remains of his hide, and his tripod dragged into the river by a crocodile.
When we got to our spot we found an empty beach, with not a trace of the hide. Or rather, all that we found were traces of the hide, which had been ripped off its stakes still embedded in the ground, and dragged under water by an enormous crocodile. Luckily, the beast did not take Bob’s tripod, which we found in the mud nearby.
Photo: Tracks of the crocodile that took, and most likely ate, our hide.
I am not a morning person, and never in my life did I feel more grateful for that. Had we been in the hide before dawn as planned, there is no telling how our little adventure would have ended. I think I will continue sleeping in.
Read more on Piotr’s blog “The Smaller Majority”