Greetings from the bush
The last couple of days we have had good luck with a wide variety of game excluding the leopard. Lion sightings towards Croc Bridge, ellies and rhino all over, buffalo on the 18k’s yesterday again and hyena in a number of spots.
Going to school this morning has been a very interesting trip. The 4k’s has been very quiet and even the Biyamiti Bridge did not reveal the normal waterbuck on the beach. I must say it was a rather cold morning at just 6.5ºC just after six. Between the Biyamiti and Bume Rivers we had a hyena sniffing around on a marking spot. It was in the same area as last week's sighting and this time I include a photo of one of the clan members.
Passing over the Bume I had to fall in line with another car following two lionesses down the road. One was in milk, not sure whether it is mom to be or a mom has been. The other lioness is the same one I photographed a while ago coming down the S26 from Mpondo dam. She should be pregnant – was with her hubby at the time. They went off the road and we could continue to school – now running a little late. We did not do too much spotting for the rest of the trip to Croc Bridge.
Coming back from school I had a troop of vervet monkeys sunning themselves trying to warm up – temp was only 11ºC at that stage. This one was particularly pleasant to watch.
One of the guests from Biyamiti told me about some more lionesses that they saw after the first two of the morning. Three of them were stalking some impala – splitting up and moving in for the kill … and missed. They went into the bush and were gone. I drove up to the spot and there they were – well two of them anyway - walking down the road, smelling all the lovely flowers
. A third lion roared off into the bush and the two picked up their pace and headed that direction as well.
Not too bad for the morning – I would say. But no ellies, rhino and buff yet. I was not even worried about leopard – too many lion around.
Anyway about 11km from Biyamiti I came around a corner and saw a lioness standing up in the middle of the road – a couple hundred meters on. She was heavily built, full or pregnant or
… leopard. This was in fact a huge male leopard – spots and all. Slightly shorter in the legs, but any day as powerfully built as any lioness I have seen. His neck was exceptionally heavily built. He proceeded to walk down the road, marking territory, crossed the road, lied down and rolled in some buffalo dung, got up marked some more rolled again. WHOW!!
I could not believe my luck. I was in shambles. What camera to use – video, digital or film still. I took video, I took digital and I took film – zwirr went the camera – film finished
. That was a quickest change of film I made. I sat with the leopard for about 10 minutes before a safari vehicle approached from the other side with a noisy diesel enjin. The leopard got up crossed the road walked right past my car and off into the bush. What a sighting – what a leopard. This guy knows he is boss.
I completed the trip adding waterbuck to the total with the day warming up to a better 17ºC at 08:45.