After unpacking cooler boxes and suitcases, we settled down to watch the scenery and play with our cameras. (I will admit to having had a short snooze in my chair.) At some stage in the early evening as we sat with more adult beverages in front of us, mom said she thought she heard a leopard. Ja right... But she persisted and she got up to look through her bedroom window and there it was... A hippo grazing out of the water! Jokes aside, she kept looking based on the reaction of some impala who were clearly not phased by the mammoth mammal and her persistence paid off!! There it was: a leopard!!! Clear as day on the other side of the river!!! We watched it for what esteemed like a long time but must have only been 5 or 10 minutes before it went into a ditch and disappeared. We had seen the one cat people dream of seeing. In fact, urban legend has it that a certain well known vet from Joburg was so desperate to see this cat that for some or other bizarre reason he and his guest dressed up in tuxedos and went for a game drive!! Forunately we have never gotten that desperate.
Last night we ended the evening early and were all in bed just as the red moon was rising.
This morning after a late start, we headed to the main camp to trade in our Jozi 4x4 for our Landie and then set off to find some birds and buck. Saw plenty impala, wildebeest and zebra as well as an array of different bird species, including a bateleur. As we were slowly winding our way back, I spotted a rhino. To see one of these is really special these days as these poor animals are totally unaware of the war that has been declared on them and how much effort is taken to keep them safe. There are literally non-governmental armies that have been formed to protect them! (Not sure if one could call them mercenaries since they bear arms and fight yet are called Anti-Poaching Units but are realistically armies fighting the war against the terror of rhino slaughter? Irrespective, what the men and woman in conservation are doing to keep these majestic beasts alive is nothing short of heroic!!)
By this stage it was getting rather toasty and mom was heading us closer to home whe. Dad suddenly shouted "lion!". Brakes applied, reverse gear applied and there they were: a lion cub and 2 adults. After much clicking of cameras, we adjusted our angle to get a better view and discovered that right where we had been were more lions. Literally in the bush right next to where we had been clicking away! With the plan to return to these guys later, we headed off home....
... But not before spotting elephant! The elephants were a distance away and after watching for a bit, we drove up to see a fancy helicopter that has landed at the airstrip and then we meandered to the house where there is currently sweet little going on!
So, in our 24 hours here we had seen the Big 5. Done and dusted. Pressure is off and now the impala can go et our attention.
I know, you just want me to stop blogging now. Good news is that for this afternoon, that's it. No more.
Ok... Just this: mom accidentally deleted all the images off her camera. She had some really good shots and was livid. But, in true over paranoid preparation, I have my laptop here and I linked up to my wifi that I set up quick (edge signal but it works) and googled the solution. If this ever happens to you, there is a software you can buy that recovers files. I have found the pictures and as soon as we get to electricity tomorrow, I will recover the images. But for now, that SD card is secured in my camera bag away from any of us so it doesn't get used.