We are up at the crack of dawn. Actually, we’re on the way before sunrise! Nicely settled into spacious game viewing vehicles with a local Okonjima driver/guide in each, we head off to track for leopards. Leopards tend to be active early, so it is better to be tracking first thing. Using radio telemetry devices we are looking for a signal from any of the 10+ collared leopards in the Okonjima Reserve. One of our local guides, Gideon, hears a feint signal, so we follow this until it gets stronger and eventually we are close by a leopard. The radio signal suggests the leopard is within 20 feet but we cannot see it. The bush here is thick and while the leopard can hear and see us, the reverse is not true. We do our best do reposition our vehicle, which at one point involves driving down into a narrow, dry river bed. We had to chop down a couple of thorny branches on the way and still we didn’t spot the leopard. Finally we managed a glimpse as she walked from one hiding place to the next. Nearby we had seen her kill, a warthog. We expect she would return, and we didn’t wish to invade her privacy any more so we left and continued our game drive.
Back at base, we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast brunch before a well-earned siesta. We met up again around 3pm for afternoon tea and cakes. Lovely cakes! Back with our local guides, this afternoon’s activity is a visit to the AfriCat headquarters. Here, we learn about the work of the charitable foundation and see some cheetahs in one of the rehabilitation enclosures. As a final surprise treat, we visit a hide to see Leela cloe up. She is a beautiful leopard that was rescued at birth and is now part of the educational programme at AfriCat.
What an amazing day!