Friday, January 6, 2012

Londolozi - All Good Things must come to an End.

The question of course is how it should end?  Waking early today is really easy. The anticipation of even more bush action makes rising an absolute pleasure. However, the rain is back again. A gentle mist has settled over the Sabi Sands Reserve. Our smiling faces belie the obvious challenges of travelling on an open vehicle with rather sensitive camera gear. Using blankets and ponchos, we wrap everything up tightly and head out.

This time we head out West of the Lodge and we are looking for a pride of Lionesses that have brand new cubs. A sudden shout from Geoffrey our tracker brings the vehicle to a stop. He points off to the right into a sea of long grass. We scour the bush desperately screwing up our eyes and only after he literally takes out his ruler and pointer can we see what it is that has him so excited. The tiniest tip of a Leopard’s ears. It is the mating couple. They are far from where they were last night. It is astounding that he managed to see this tiny little movement of an ear flicking in the grass. This is the advantage of having a top tracker on your vehicle. You get to see all that the bush has to offer.

A quick about turn brings us to the mating pair who have obviously been very busy all night. A picture paints a thousand words and so I will simply let the images speak for themselves.

We spend the whole morning still available to us watching, photographing and simply revelling in the wonder that is the African bush. It is indeed an amazing experience to be able to spend such a long time with not one, but two, Leopards who have no interest in going somewhere else.
During the proceedings the Camp Pan Male gets up and disappears into a warthog burrow that is carved into the side of a termite mound. He emerges with a baby warthog that is very obviously quite dead. He settles himself very comfortably off to one side and proceeds to eat his breakfast. He does not share with the female who sits and glares moodily at him.

 After a couple of hours nature calls and we head off for a coffee break. It is time to do a last bit of video work for Londolozi and then the rain sets in. We head back to the camp and have a quick sighting of a side striped Jackal and her two new pups.

Reluctantly we have to leave. This has been an awe inspiring experience and I am not sure that the bush can ever give up so much again in so little time.

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