In procrastinating on the interview clothes issue, I was reading through my archives, and came across the list of things that I was scared of about the Namibia trip a couple months before we went. Buried in the list was “We will hit an oryx” which totally almost happened. I am clearly psychic (ignoring the fact that nothing else I was worried about came to pass. And that this was an almost, it didn’t actually happen. But I could have said any animal! I picked the right one!)
What happened was- it was our “day off” in the middle of the trip. I use quotes because we spent the first 4 hours of it doing work. Voluntarily. It was fun, we were checking box traps and then going back around and throwing antelope meat into them for bait. Anyway. We were driving along the road, going pretty slowly because it’s a crappy dirt road with lots of rocks (John had the best time ever with this) and there was a steepish slope off to our left going down, and it continued going up on our right. We were going about 20km an hour when this oryx tears out of the bush to our left, across the road and up the other side, going at least twice as fast as us. It was about 15 feet in front of the car. Had we been going a little faster, it might have gone right into the side of our car (my side, I might add). It was amazing to see, and definitely the closest we got to one. They’re huge, especially in the shoulders, and seeing it running like that, even for just a second, we could see how incredibly powerful it was.
Later that day a mother and baby kudu ran across the road, but further ahead of us. That was also great to see.