The return of the chief 

I awoke at 5am this morning with the gracious wake up call from our amazing guides. The epic part of going on safari to these amazing places is the personalised feel and the hospitality of the staff all round. 

After a quick shower and change I made my way to the deck where not only tea and coffee awaited us but an entire pack of wild dogs and hyena were drinking water. Since we could see them perfectly from the deck there was no hurry to jump on to the vehicle and go out looking for game. One of the super 7 was already right in front of our lodge! 

We enjoyed the morning coffee watching the dogs do their thing. The pups are so active and playful it’s always fun to watch these endangered animals in their natural habitat in an area where they’re appreciated. 

The start to the morning was of the best I’ve had and the sunrise this morning was a typical African sunrise. The calls of all the birds who have returned for the summer paired with the perfect round orange sun with not a cloud in the turquoise sky gave me a sense of happiness to be in the place I loved the most. 

After some time the dogs got up and started their morning hunt. They missed an impala and then we decided to follow the one half of the pack. As we followed them, there was suddenly a squeal and some commotion behind the bushes. 

We turned the vehicle around and headed in that direction. We found the other half of the pack on a duiker. Within minutes the dogs had stripped that duiker apart and there was none left for the poor hyenas who were trailing behind them for a free breakfast. 

After that quick meal they went off into a drainage line which was too thick for us to go into, and we had received news of a male leopard in the area. The male had been sighted on Robsons boundary in EP so we made our way in that direction.

There was a lot of confusion as to who this leopard was but immediately when I saw him I knew. This was our little chief, not so little anymore! 

I suddenly became so emotional in that moment as I had been wishing to see him for so long. I don’t like to put names and personalities to these animals even though we visit here so often but Hosana, he’s a special leopard. He’s one of our favourite leopards in the sands and we had many opportunities to shoot him in Djuma when he was younger. To see him all grown up and no longer a cub was amazing. Words cannot describe how I felt in that moment but it was amazing to see him again. 

We had a huge array of birds on drive and enough opportunities to shoot some wonderful bird life. 

It’s action filled drives like these that make us coming back for more.