Is there an elephant behind those bushes? What if a buffalo charges? Did I just step in that? A South Africa walking safari can be a hazardous undertaking, writes Mark Daffey.

The feast last night must have been a doozy. Spread out across a dusty clearing in front of us is a huge pile of dung—some fresh and moist, some old and dry. Our Shangaan (part of the Tsonga ethnic group) game ranger, Given, tells us the tiny pellets resembling coffee beans are impala droppings, and there are thousands of them. An entire plantation’s worth, by the looks of it.

Given scoops up a handful and passes around two beans to every person. He then asks us to stand behind a line he’s drawn in the dirt. “Let me show you a game invented by the Afrikaners,” he says, splitting a dropping open to reveal a compacted inner core. “Now, I want you to place one on your tongue.”

You what?