11 October: Hot Stuff!

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Lions hiding from the heat

The calendar says it’s spring, but yesterday the thermometer decided it is summer. The temperature shot up to near 40 degrees and we were all feeling the heat, especially the animals.

The sun was high and hot when we set out, so we did what any creature would do; sought shade. That’s where we found a pair of young male lions, dozing under a tree and panting in an effort to cool down, even a little.

It may have been the protruding pink tongue that caught the eye of our tracker when not far from the lions we found one of our resident female leopards, Rock Fig Junior, curled up under a bush.

 

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Far too hot to move much

After a few minutes she obliged us by coming out from under the bush so we could have a better look at her. She walked about a meter and promptly lay down again, giving a big stretch and immediately going back to sleep.

Next, we found a pack of wild dogs sprawled out on the grass. As the sun began to set, they yawned and stretched and after a few minutes of mutual grooming set off to hunt. After three such incredible sightings, we decided we had earned our sundown cocktails so we set off to Reflection Dam. Turns out we weren’t the only ones who had that idea- a big herd of buffalo appeared, and waded into the water to drink just as the sun started to set.

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Sharing the dam!

When they had finished, it was our turn, and we toasted another amazing afternoon in the bush at Tanda Tula!

Photos and words by Jacquie Gauthier

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