14 October 2015
After breakfast and loading up for the last morning drive of our 2 remaining guests, we also picked up a group for a full day safari.
The started off quite well as not very far in, we were privileged enough to encounter 3 rather majestic large bull Sable Antelope. They were fairly relaxed and even though in tall grass, provided us with a good view, grazing close to our vehicle.
A little further on we also found a dazzle of Zebra in a clearing and there was a young foal with them. We had the perfect opportunity to observe one of the foal's survival strategies, as it hardly left it's mother's side. This illustrated perfectly how the foal with its almost disproportionately long legs fits in next to is mom with their bellies at the same level and as the stripes will break up the outline and make it blend in with its mom, it becomes much harder for predators to notice the youngster.
After the first couple of hours it heated up significantly and we also said goodbye to our 2 overnight guests.
Continuing with our full day group, we headed further into the park, trying to get to a few waterholes, which is normally your best bet for animal activity on very hot days. Our efforts were rewarded soon enough, as at one of the larger dams in the area, we found 5 bull elephants of varying ages swimming and cooling down in the water. It is always interesting to see how much they love being in the water and how even the largest of males, will loose all inhibition and splash and play in the water like youngsters, often completely submerged and just using the top of the trunk as a snorkel. Certainly a highlight of the day.
We had another great sighting at a smaller waterhole where a White Rhino was having a wallow in the mud. A hyena approached and made its way into the same waterhole also to cool down. The Rhino hardly paid it any attention and we left the sighting with Rhino and Hyena still happily sharing the same space.
The true highlight of the day, however came when a very alert guest on the back of our truck casually said: "stop, leopard.." I hit the brakes and quickly reversed, but it was already out of sight... slowly driving on again it came back out onto a pathway and it quickly became clear that it was stalking Impala on the opposite side of the road.
We changed position in an attempt not to influence the reaction of either Leopard or impalas in any way. We sat and waited as the leopard snuck out behind a thicket it was using as cover and moved straight towards us! I realized that it was going for a gap underneath the road, through which it would be able to get much closer to the intended prey without having to cross the road.
We sat waiting patiently for the leopard to emerge on the side of the still unaware Impala... after about 10 minutes they must have spotted it coming out on their side as a quick, loud warning snort saw the impalas scatter and very quickly get out of sight, living to fight another day, while the leopard, not seen again by us, was left to hunt another day!