Day 9 - The Bush Braai:
So after our beautiful lady disappeared into the bush we headed on to Malelane. We passed the couple who had originally told us about the Leopard as they were still searching farther up the road. We stopped and told them about our sighting, thanked them profusely, and apologized that they had not been in a position to see it. We told them where we last saw her and then carried on to camp.
Raymond, the Head Guide from Berg en Dal and Flying Cheetah (Wolfgang) were arriving at the same time we arrived.
This Bush Braai had been arranged a few months prior after Flying Cheetah read the beginnings of the TR and saw that our group was doing one at Olifants. He has always wanted to do a braai, but goes to Kruger alone and has not found a group to do one with. I put it out to our group and they all enthusiastically agreed to do another one. Wolfgang knows Raymond from several prior trips and helped put me in contact with Raymond so that we could put the entire thing together.
We thoroughly enjoyed the bush braai from Olifants, but this was more intimate and personal. It was just our group and Wolfgang and we were in a smaller game drive vehicle. It was great getting to know Wolfgang and is amazing how people from different cultures, backgrounds, and countries can share a common love for the bush and be instant friends. Really, really cool!
Wew quickly loaded onto the vehicle and we told Raymond about the Leopard sighting. He was in no hurry and drove slowly along the roads stopping for various animals and birds, helping with identification and giving great details about behaviors, etc. He was extremely knowledgeable and informative and you could tell that he enjoyed imparting his knowledge.
We eventually made it to the intersection with trhe main road again and found a traffic jam not far from Malelane gate. Our Leopard friend was now stretching out in a tree. Fortunately the couple who told us about her had found her and had a prime position. I was so happy they had found her, because if it wasn't for them, we never would have stopped
We then drove around several different areas as we had plenty of time before the sun would set and it would be time to head to the braai site. I won't identify the areas because of these great sightings
Absolutely beautiful. I hope they can stay safe!!!
We also saw Zebra and Giraffe as well as this wattled something or other
And the end to another magnificent day in Africa......
As the sun set we arrived at the Berg en Dal Day Visitors' picnic site, which is a few kms from the camp. It was not quite as rustic as the open bush braai at Olifants, but you still had the feel of the bush. Same sights, sounds, and smells. The benefit was that it was fenced and gated so Raymond wasn't on constant alert and was actually able to sit and eat and interact with us throughout the meal. That made it a very memorable experience listening to his stories. The food was very good although the menu was almost identical to that at Olifants. I was surprised that there was no offering of any kind of game and it was just chicken and beef. All the same, it was well prepared.
Another benefit to the picnic site is that the tables are permanent. At Olifants they were portable and we felt like we were eating on a slope.
It was a tremendous experience and I would recommend that you do it at least once.
After dinner we visited for a while before we had to go back to camp. We didn't see much game on the way back, but it was a beautiful night and the experience itself was amazing.
Raymond and Wolfgang dropped us off and headed back to Berg en Dal while we headed off to bed. It was a bitter sweet ending knowing that we had an absolutely amazing day, but with the knowledge that tomorrow would also be our last full day in the Park......
Stay tuned for Day 10, and as always, thanks for following!