AfriCat and leopard tracking

Added 07 May 2013

Wake up call is 5.30am. (Whoops, that wasn't advertised in the brochure!). Tea, coffee and freshly baked pastries are served from 6am and by 6.30am we’re aboard our game viewing vehicles and heading for one of the cheetah enclosures.

This morning is our introduction to the work of AfriCat. At the clinic we learn about large carnivore rehabilitation, the AfriCat environmental education programme, community support, research and the carnivore care centre. We’re also lucky to see both cheetah and caracal up close.

Back at Main Camp we enjoy an extensive brunch with a wide selection of hot and cold food, including a popular cooked-to-order “bushman omelette”. Time for a siesta now, although many guests choose to stroll the beautiful gardens instead of taking a snooze.

Afternoon tea and cakes are served at 2.45pm, before we join our local guides and game viewing vehicles to track leopard. We’re exploring one of Okonjima’s largest park areas this afternoon and there are only a few radio-collared leopards so this is challenging. However, by the end of the day everyone has seen a leopard or two, albeit this may have involved driving into the bush, along a dry river bed, through trees, and over boulders. Thank goodness our local guide drivers have done this before!

We planned to have some sundowner drinks at the end of our game drive, but due to our extended leopard tracking efforts, this turned into “sun-gone drinks”. In any case no one is concerned, and the gin and tonics taste really good.

By the way, last night's nocturnal hide viewing and this evening's nocturnal hide visit both delivered good results with sightings of porcupines and jackals.