Guest post by Vanessa Woods
It was in Uganda that I encountered one of Africa’s most dangerous predators. I was counting chimpanzees in the Ugandan jungle, when I felt a sharp pain on my forearm. I pushed up my shirtsleeve. Attached to my skin was a giant ant the size of my toenail. Its head was so big I could see the serrations on it pincers that had dug halfway into my skin.
I flicked it with my other hand. It didn’t move. I brushed it, harder. It just wiggled all six legs and bit more deeply. I started to panic. I grabbed the ant between two fingers and pulled as hard as I could. Its body came off in my hands and its head was still firmly embedded in my arm, blood pooling around its knifelike jaws. As if on cue, a thousand kindred mandibles sunk themselves into my flesh. I looked down. I was covered in them.
And so I learnt one of Africa’s most valuable lessons: ignore ants at your peril. Read More