The bathroom isn’t normally a space thought to be host to a wide variety of life. It’s not supposed to be at all, one might say. But here at Djuma, I’ve encountered a wide variety of creatures (mostly insects) residing in the three bathrooms of safariLIVE’s campsite.

Mostly, I see them during the night, no doubt attracted by the light. The most common critters I have observed during my attempts to either use the bathroom or shower are flies and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes, of course, I attempt to squash whenever I can, although they are tricky devils and always seem to escape my grasp. Flies don’t bother me as much, mostly they just zoom about and I leave them alone. But beyond these common sightings, more interesting insects have shown themselves.

From time to time, I’ve seen praying mantises sitting in unusual places. One I found perched atop one of the shelves, nestled between two towels. If he hadn’t been sitting near my toothbrush, I’d have totally overlooked him. Another I saw sitting on the doorknob of the stall – – , I helped her outside. I imagine they’re here to catch other insects that come poking about, snatching them out of the air atop these man-made perches.

Other critters I’ve seen include beetles, spiders, ants, and roaches. The roaches are small compared to the ones back in New York and they tend to scurry off as soon as I switch the lights on, so they don’t bother me. The spiders come in all shapes and sizes. Some prefer to nest in the corners of the bathroom, spinning webs and catching flies. Others crawl about on the prowl and I confess I’ve been taken a back seeing an enormous spider sitting inside a shower stall like he owned the place. (I’m sure he thought that too after I decided to turn tail and try my luck in another bathroom).

There exists an entire ecosystem within the bathrooms, unnaturally produced but still fascinating to watch. From flying insects to the crawling creepers, there’s a whole system of creatures to see in the small, often overlooked space of a mundane setting like a bathroom. Maybe you should have a closer look at a similar setting in your own life. Who knows what you’ll find.

Banner image: Spider catching butterfly. Credit: James Hendry

Written by Jake McDaniel