By Katy Osborn
Our vehicle has stopped along a tall red fence. There are hyenas inside, our guide Onks tells us — they’re not suited to run wild in Mokolodi as carnivores. He approaches the chain link and begins to shake it. It rattles and chimes — an eerie soundtrack with the sun now fully set — and soon the whole structure is swaying back and forth, threatening to topple. We wait, sinking lower in our seats, huddling a bit tighter as the evening chill kicks in. And then, just as we begin to lose patience, they are suddenly running, bounding toward the fence — two spotted hyenas with mangy fur and wild eyes. Onks begins to make cackling, wheezing noises. He crouches onto all fours and crawls in our direction along the fence. They follow, thinking he’s one of them.
Our second day in Mokolodi saw us traverse the park from edge to edge; tracking rhinos on foot, nestled amid a family of giraffes, watching the sunset over the Mokolodi Dam with the reserve’s two hippos peaking through the water’s surface. As journalists we so often search for stories amid people and all of our shouting and chaos — Botswana’s stunning natural environment is a reminder that sometimes the best stories don’t shout at all.