Jackals and a leopard in Africa in camp last night. Both animals came right up to the tents and occasionally scratched on them. This morning presented a beautiful sunrise again. This morning feels a bit warmer than the others though, so far. We are leaving camp early this morning. Up at 5:00 am, breakfast and on our way. I wonder if we will see another leopard, as our Guides find it odd that we have seen two different ones so far. They often will do a safari tour with tourists and never even see one.
We just scarcely get on our way and we spot a pack of wild dogs. I find this incredible, as last night when we were done our game drive, I asked Johann what we should focus on for the morning to be spotted. He said ‘wild dogs’. And there they are. There were 6 adults and 10 pups. They were a fair distance away but soon made there way to the river in an attempt to drink. Just as they the pack leader approached the water, he spotted a large Crocodile. His attention to this , now submerged threat, alerted the rest of the pack and they all stayed back. Looking through the camera and binoculars, we observed that the adults had a lot of blood on their faces, showing that they had had a good morning hunt. A pack this size will require more food, so they seemed to be quite active and not ready to sleep. Had they had full bellies, they would have been resting. We watched them for quite awhile and then they eventually surrendered to the crocodile with their standoff and decided to give up the ‘drink’ and retreated in the opposite direction. Guess they will find water where it is safer.
We have had so much time to just BE with all these different animals. It’s great to see them in this way. They are really accepting of our presence. There have been several times when we would be sitting amongst some animals, and then another jeep pull up, in a more invasive way, and every time, the animals would go on alert and run off. They would just carry on as they normally would with us there. They seemingly know that we are just part of the animal community with them. This land is for all, and can be lived in so harmoniously, if respect is given to all who coexist together.
We are excited to see two more honey badgers this morning. Drive a bit further, seeing assorted game, the whole time, when we spot a female leopard perched on a termite mound. She eventually climbs down and goes to lay under a bush. I connect with her and she sends a message that she is going to be hunting and shows me the direction, which happens to be the opposite way in which she seems to be laying or focusing. I take the binoculars and look in the exact spot where she shows me, which is on the other side of our vehicle from her. I see nothing and just wait to see what her next move is. Am I receiving the right message? She slowly gets up heads straight forward and then makes a hard left in front of the vehicle and heads right to the spot where she had shown me. She is off for a hunt. I am totally convinced that these leopards, are in fact , highly advanced at telepathic communication, as Alwyn said. We are sure of her intent to hunt, and notice some impalas just beyond the place where she is starting her stealth walk. We decide to just leave and let her find her next meal without interruption. We then are told that we are breaking for lunch. Our guides surprise us by pulling up to a beautiful opening in the grasslands along the Delta to a stunning view. A long table with chairs set for our group. We are brought to tears. Our amazing helpers (5 guys, Patrick, Shedrick, I.T., G and K.K.) have set it all up. Even set up a bathroom, wash station and amazing food. This was a great gathering. We eat in the presence of many hippos in the waters behind us. So cool.
I cannot possibly write about all the animals we see in a day. They are constant. We watched some hippos fighting, then just a few 100 metres upstream we spot an enormous crocodile on the grassy banks of the river. He is huge.
We are being introduced to more plants everyday. There is one called a foam plant that the indigenous people of the land make tea out of. It is used in ceremony and initiation on a young adolescent/teen who may start to show disrespect for their parents. It is strongly understood that the young must care and respect the elders in their families and live together in community. If there is a member that starts to show this as not being their intention, then a ceremony and initiation will be held. The tea that is made from the foam plant is used to ingest and wash the body. There is so much that has been lost in our western world, and I fear that we have gone so far away from what should be as witnessed by the ancients and the animal kingdom. I hope to see some changes to help our world come back together. I remember one time communicating with a large silver backed male Chimpanzee in the Singapore zoo that gave me a powerful message to share………..’This world will not change unless families come together first’. This was stamped on me quite strongly, as it was told through the communication but also visually, through actions within the group of chimps living there. I cannot believe the strong theme of this whole trip, it is constantly interweaving the message of ‘oneness’ .
This afternoon at camp is the hottest yet. I cannot find any shelter from the heat, nor can anyone else. One of our members is experiencing heat exhaustion. I feel I am as well. I’m nursing myself with electrolytes and a good supply of water, but, even though I am spraying with a water bottle, showering and fanning myself, nothing seems to be working. I feel quite frustrated with this heat as I have a low tolerance to this intensity of it, that I could just spit……but my mouth is too dry.
Our afternoon drive brings more and more experiences. I have to laugh everytime I see a warthog, as I think about Pumba, in the Lion King.. They depicted the personality and movements so well in the animated show. Zazoo visits us everyday as well, as a hornbill. Even have seen Timone the Meerkat a few times. Just before sunset the pride of 5 females walk right up to the river, beside where we are parked to have a drink and get ready for their nightly hunt. This was so beautiful to watch . They are amazing animals. When they left, they walked right to our jeeps, so close, and we all could feel their energy so strong. What a beautiful view to end the day. I do not feel like eating tonight as it is just so hot. Greg, one of our participants is in bed with a good dose of heat exhaustion. I feel pretty rough as well. Everyone heads to bed. I lay there just sweating. So I decide to get up and sit outside in hopes that I may feel somewhat of a breeze. I can hear the sounds of hippos, hyenas and a leopard close by. It all feels good. Eventually the ever so slight breeze cools me enough to go to bed. I decide to open the tent to get in and happen to surprise the two girls in the tent beside mine. Hmmmm, I am at the wrong tent. I frightened them, but when they realize it was me, we start to giggle. I went back to my tent still giggling. Especially since this is not the first time that I have been witnessed, going to the wrong tent. Hehe. End of another great day, I pray that tomorrow will be cooler. Sending good night wishes to everyone back home.