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River Mara at Night

from Stepping into the Dark by Chris Watson

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2130h 16th September 1994

The same evening, Francis asked one of the other Maasai guards to take me back up river. Nightfall brings more danger. The hippos, who spend the day in the river, come out and graze on the vegetation, and can be very threatening animals... more people are killed by hippos than they are by lions.

The 'atmosphere' had changed. Listening for the wooden chimes of tree frogs, we were met by heavy rhythm, a wall of nocturnal sound. Moths and night flying beetles are being hunted - you can hear the deep octaval roar as they come close to the microphone. The metallic sounds, I suspect, are the acoustic calls of bats.

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from Stepping into the Dark, released February 2, 1996

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Chris Watson UK

Chris Watson is one of the world's leading recorders of wildlife and natural phenomena, and for Touch he edits his field recordings into a filmic narrative.

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