Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp

The Wild Side

We disembark for a while to stretch our legs, quietly and peacefully approaching the Birds to snap pictures. Truly unique habitats, Africa’s soda lakes are unexpectedly productive: Though few large critters like Fishes and Shrimp swim in them, the lakes mix up a rich soup of algae, fungi and bacteria which sustains – and gives a rosy glow to – Flamingos. After a few precious minutes, we hear the all-too familiar sound of revving engines. Glancing behind, we see from a mile away, Park Customer Number Two. Even from afar, we can hear the Rover’s guests chattering away. As they race toward the lake, the Flamingos take notice, begin to stir – and finally fly off. Though saddened to see the Birds disturbed, seeing tens of thousands of them painting the sky pink is probably the greatest birdwatching spectacle I’ve yet seen. As we start up the engines to leave, we wave a grateful goodbye. Eventually the Birds start descending back to the lake. Over bumpy, bumpy roads we drive off into the sunrise, a pink lake behind us.