Wednesday, September 23, 2015

On Safari With Gert 22 September 2015

22 September 2015

This morning we set off early, with one goal in mind - to find leopards as they have been avoiding on the first 2 days of safari... First out the gate, we went searching at a notorious hiding place. There were some fresh cat tracks in the road and suddenly Louisa said she saw something flicking in the bush. Instinctively I knew we had found what we came looking for, as it is often the flick of the leopard's white tail-tip that gives it's presence away...

We sat waiting and then realized that there are 2 of them - youngsters of about 10 months old, playing in the tall grass, just visible when pouncing on or chasing one another! They then disappeared into a ditch and I feared that might have been the end of our sighting, but we turned around and decided to wait a while.

It wasn't long before both came back out, sitting on a termite mound basking in the early morning sun and grooming themselves... by this time a few cars had gathered behind us and we decided to move on in an attempt to let everyone else see them.

About 50 m further down the road, their sibling, a young male, was lying out in the open on a rock, surveying his surroundings and also grooming in the early morning sun! We sat watching him for another 15 minutes until some more cars arrived, when it was time to get out of there for coffee and breakfast.

We returned to the scene a couple of hours later to find 1 of them lying in a tree very close to the road, the others obviously close by, but hiding very well. It was a great treat and we could not have asked for a better leopard sighting, especially since they were not bothered by all the attention they were getting! It is hard to top a start to the day such as that, but we were also lucky enough to find our first elephants of the safari as well as a mother White Rhino and her 1 year old calf. There was an adult male Rhino grazing close to them and it got a bit to close to the youngster for the mom's liking.

She charged up and slammed horn first into the large male who barely had time to brace himself for the impact. She had made her point and the male slowly moved off afterwards! Certainly another memorable day on Safari!

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