I woke the following morning with a fever. I felt weak and my appetite was non-existent. Not the ideal state in which to be walk through a region home to a prolific lion population.
In the park, we walked in single-file: one ranger at the front and one at the back. A raised fist signalled that they had spotted something in the distance and that we had to halt immediately. More often than not, it was a lion and each time it was as if my heart stopped. But Solly and Abdu were cool, competent and professional in the face of this imminent threat. They knew that if we remained still, the lion would simply go about its business and pass us by. And they always did.
The more days that passed, the better I started to feel. Escorting us from ranger base to ranger base, these guys were some of the most incredible people we were lucky enough to meet on our journey. We were in constant awe of their work in guarding and protecting the park, and so grateful of the kindness, humour and hospitality they showed us during our time in this incredible area.
Reaching the end of the of the Niokolo-Koba National Park felt like a huge weight had been lifted from our chests. From here, we were in touching distance of our final country of the expedition, The Gambia.