Thursday, October 22, 2015

On Safari With Gert 20 October 2015

20 October 2015

Today we left for a different camp and after loading luggage we set off, aiming to maximize our chances, by spending most off the day driving alongside the river.

Early on we encountered 1 hyena on the prowl, we watched it for a few minutes, sniffing around along the road before heading out of sight into the bush. After that, it was fairly quiet sightings wise for an hour or so, until we were alerted to the presence of a pride of lions, about 8km onto a nearby dirt road.

We turned that direction hoping to find them and did so, finding 4 large black-manned males and 5 females, lying mostly in the open as there was some wispy cloud cover. Some of them were lying bellies up and judging by the size, it looked like they had recently eaten. As we sat watching, the sun came through in earnest and we saw them get up one by one and slowly walk deeper into the bush, looking for shady spots.

Leaving the sighting we tried making up some time as, by that time we were running quite late for breakfast; however we spotted a leopard coming up from the riverbed, on her way to cross the road. We stopped and gave her enough space to not feel nervous about our presence. She stood on the road verge for some time looking around, making sure that the coast was clear, before casually crossing the road in front of our vehicle, a magnificent adult female, who I thought must have cubs in the vicinity, as she had swollen mammary glands and was very alert and purposeful in her movements. We watched until we lost sight of her along the pathway she was travelling.

Late in the day we also had a sighting of a pack of Wild dogs sleeping under a shady tree in a clearing as it turned out being a very successful day indeed for predator sightings!

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