One last game drive had almost everything popping up to say goodbye. A Lion stayed awake just long enough to give some nice poses, a new Leopard gave us our 11th encounter, probably involving 6 different Leopards, and the Zebras finally came back down from the hills to add themselves to the list (a herd of 5 is hardly the Masai Mara, but you can see Zebras anywhere).
You can have everything: we had two fantastic evenings with a pack of 22 Wild Dogs, having seen three very distantly before. These animals are fantastic: far more impressive than I had expected and also a huge amount of fun. When you arrive you have a large number of sleeping dogs, with the pups a bit like kids on Christmas morning, desperate to get up. Eventually the adults stand up and the doggy mayhem begins. Finally the pups are allowed to join in, and it gets very silly. Here are a few shots, there are many more to go through when we’re home.
Our last night in Zambia at the end of a stellar week. With one drive still tomorrow we have had 10 encounters with Leopards, most of them excellent. Not bad, considering we would have settled for half an inch of tail at the start of the week. It hasn’t just been Leopards, but obviously they have been the highlight.
I suppose the week could have been improved had we seen Wild Dogs, which some people saw, but you can’t have everything.
There may be a time when I become bored of looking at Leopards, but I’m confident that it won’t be in this century.
Yesterday started well, with a Leopard seen from our Bed in Three Rivers camp (other things on our bed list include Elephant, Giraffe and Greater Painted Snipe) and went on to produce an outstanding night drive with more Leopards and a failed Lion hunt.
This is a fairly random selection of pictures: it’s not too easy to select and process on an iPad with limited storage when you’re half asleep. They are rather cut down to get them through the slow wifi as well.
We’re having a week in Zambia to a) celebrate the fact that Karen has just turned 50, b) celebrate the fact that I’m still only 49 ( for 5 more weeks) and c) have another go at finding a Leopard. This is our fifth attempt, so as time goes by without a sighting, the tension is sure to mount…
… until 6:50 on our first morning, when we encountered this stunning Leopard up a tree – it gave us the full show. On then to more fun with some stunning Southern Carmine Bee-eaters. Has there ever been a more beautiful trash bird?
Some fairly low res shots here, as uploading in our lodge is a bit slow.