There was so much more to this week than just cats, but to be honest, it really was the ever-gorgeous felines that stole the limelight! I was incredibly happy at the beginning of the week when Jack suddenly pointed forward and spoke those words all guides want to hear: “Cheetah, cheetah!”.
We had been tracking them all morning, and I can tell you there are few things more rewarding in this line of work than a long tracking session ending in a sighting of not one, but three cheetahs. These highly endangered cats only make an appearance in this part of the Greater Krugera few times a year, and for me personally, this was the first time I had seen one in over a year. We were treated to a stunning sighting of them as they slowly moved towards Machaton dam in search of water, then it got even better. Once they had quenched their thirst, they proceeded to have a bit of fun and suddenly, all three of them were chasing each other around, showing off their incredible agility and speed.
Later in the week, one of the Mbiri males joined them and was later joined by his brother, who just so happens to be nursing some pretty gnarly wounds again. This male just keeps finding himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. We are all of the opinion that he actually likes a bit of a scrap. Well that, and he seems to be a bit of a lady’s man – something which is bound to get you into trouble from time to time! He has had a good feed though and I am very sure he will be back to full health in just a couple of weeks. This is not the first time or the last time I am sure.
Sadly, Marula has still not been seen, and it is getting to that point now where… well, I don’t have the heart to say it. She didn’t leave us completely though, as her two cubs have been seen now and again and surprisingly, they both seem to be fit and healthy. She may have just imparted enough of her knowledge to her 11-month-old cubs to see them through to adulthood. These cubs have formed a strong partnership and I am sure they will watch each other’s backs until the day comes when they slowly drift apart in search of their own lives and their own territories. Never the less, I raise a glass to their fearless mother, a legend to so many of us. I know many of our guests will join me on this, as she has had an impact on so many people.
We had a great sighting of Wild dogs later in the week, but I just couldn’t get things together and didn’t get any meaningful images of them. I’ll blame the light, yes it was the light. Oh, and the Hyena that happened upon them and stole their kill. I got some shots of the Hyena with their stolen plunder for good measure though!
And so, another fabulous week at Tanda Tula Safari Campcomes to a close, and next week Chad will be back to fill you in on next week’s stories.