On the bus to Mole National Park, our guide mentioned that there being a tree house in Mole National Park where people can spend the night. The two-level tree house rests right over a waterhole where animals often go at night, and sometimes lions will do their hunting there! Well, this sounded right up my alley, and thankfully, a couple other students on the trip were interested too. I don’t think my guide expected that. Who in their right mind would sleep outside amongst the mosquitoes and other bugs, and wild animals during the rainy season where the chances of getting completely soaked were likely? I would!

When we went to arrange the evening, the guy told us that we were too late…that we were supposed to have booked that earlier in the day, because it was not safe to walk through the jungle to the tree house during the night. So, we batted our eyelashes, handed over a little bribe, and were able to rent a jeep to take us to the tree house in the dark of night. Yayy! The jeep ride was one of the best parts of the night. Six of us gathered our food, and some blankets (borrowed…. cough cough… from the hotel) and climbed on top of the jeep. I was not expecting that.I have only ever seen people ride in jeeps, but in the jungle, I suppose you can do anything. So, on top of the jeep we went, through mud paths, passing herds of antelope, ducking under trees–and running into a few, and onto the treehouse.  Fabulous, and it was the first time in my life I had ever experienced fireflies.

When we walked up to the top floor of the tree house, we were amazed at the number of stars we could see. It was magical, and every minute that passed, it seemed  we saw a few more stars pop out. Then we unpacked our food, and set it up on the “dining room” table. Luckily we were able to borrow a flashlight lantern, so eating was easier, but the light attracted bugs, and I am pretty sure we all ate a couple fair sized ones! It was almost nice being in pitch black again, and ignorant of what was crawling on us.

After we set up our mosquito nets, and some of the guys finished their beers, it was (in Zade’s terms) Night-Night time. We started pairing up. The mosquito nets were not very big- so when the two guys got paired, we all knew it was bound to be a night of memories. At about 1:00am- we started to feel a little sprinkle. By 1:15 it was solid rain. By 1:20 our guide stood up and said we all had to move downstairs. From the guy’s corner we heard “Hey do you have my pants?” “No, do you have my pants?” “No, I think my pants are in your blanket.” “No, there’s no pants here.” After a lot of rustling, they did find their pants. I have no idea where.  That settled, we all moved downstairs, reset up our mosquito nets and closed our eyes for the night. Then we heard “Well, if you are going to take off your pants, then I will take off mine too because don’t feel comfortable with leaving my pants on.” I can only imagine what the guard was thinking of us obrunis.

By morning, we were soaked. However, I would easily put that night down as one of the best nights I have ever had. We heard hyenas in the dead of night, baboons signaling a warning call, fireflies danced all around us, and shooting stars lit up the sky.

We decided against walking back to the hotel in all the mud and rain, and we were soaked, so we hired the jeep once again. And once again, we all got on top of the jeep, in the rain.  The guide looked at us like we were crazy. However; you only live once, and when am I ever going to be able to ride on top of a jeep in the middle of the jungle again? How lucky I am to have spent the night in a tree house in the jungle, sandwiched between two rides on top of a jeep through the jungle! A “little” rain couldn’t ruin this for me.