“The back end of the lion is in the ladies toilet.” I grew up believing this parental fable, and rather like the tooth-fairy, I was embarrassingly old before I reasoned otherwise. Each time I went into the Ladies toilet at Muthaiga Country Club in the leafy suburbs of Nairobi, I looked for the hind-quarters of the rather mangy, moth-eaten and irregularly stuffed half-beast that occupied a glass case at the end of the long corridor. To be fair, there was always a locked cupboard in around the same place where the animals backside should have been...so it was just possible, but admittedly unlikely.
Along the same vein of wildlife toilet humour, a guide recounted an incident in the Ngorogoro Crater many years ago where a lady guest had been bursting to relieve herself throughout the morning’s game drive but refused to visit a bush. He stopped at the Park toilets on the floor of the crater and the lady hastily disembarked and dashed in. Within seconds, she reversed with equal pace and executed a spectacular re-mount of the land-cruiser through an open window. Sauntering after her was a large lioness who had been posing on her hind legs with her front paws on the sinks admiring her reflection in the mirror. Possibly the bush would have been the better option? Sometimes one’s position on a bush toilet is the best place you can be in a certain situation. Guests safely dispatched on an afternoon game-drive in Botswana’s Linyanti wildlife area, another guide took his book to relax on the “throne” of the mobile tented camp. This consisted of a wooden box over a shallow hole, crowned with a toilet seat and screened from the camp by foliage alone. Absorbed in the plot, it was the unexplained raising of hairs along the nape of his neck that made him look up. Twenty metres away was a lioness with her belly to the floor, creeping intently toward him with her head low and shoulder blades riding high on her back. Instinct alone made my friend leap to his feet and, throwing his book high into the air, waddle aggressively towards the stalking lioness shouting “Shoo! Shoo! Get lost...go on!” which she promptly did, fortunately. Knees shaking with relief, the guide returned to camp like a high-speed penquin, still with shorts firmly around ankles, much to the amusement of the camp staff.
Posted by: Amanda Mitchell