During the night we could hear Lions roaring in the distance, and ominous sounds around the tent. Looking out through the tent window an Ellie could be seen munching grass just a few feet away. He slowly walked on by eating as he went. R wondered why he didn’t walk through the tent as he would a large shrub. Today great sightings were in store, Leopard, Ellie, Giraffe, Hyena, Impala and Zebra.
We were woken at 5.30, (this was going to be our normal alarm call), by the sound of hot water being poured into our canvas wash-basins. After a quick wash, and dressing in the dark, we made our way for breakfast. Cereal, filter coffee and toast quickly consumed, we loaded onto the Safari trucks and were on the move in the twilight. R and I were dressed in shorts and T shirts, the rest were togged up in fleeces. It was definitely cool in the early morning.
We headed to the river Khwai where it was rumoured there was a Leopard sighting. With a little off-roading we found the Leopard up a tree resting after her meal. She posed beautifully for the tourists and then descended to the grass. Shadreck said it was unusual to see the Leopard descend the tree.
After this spectacular sighting we went back to the river where we saw Hippo, Ellie and many birds. The Hippo are important to the ecology of the river, keeping the river clear of water lilies. We stopped for coffee and biscuits by the river. This 9 o’clock stop as the day was starting to warm up was to be our normal regime. A bit more viewing and then back to camp for lunch at 11.am (pizza). The afternoon was spent lazing around like dead sheep in the heat of the afternoon. Tea & biscuits served at 4.30 and then we were off again. Again down to the river for more Ellie walking through the swamp, a Wattled Crane, Senegal Coucal and some Jacanas (aka Jesus birds, cos they look as though they are walking on water). As the sun was setting we went back to see the Leopard again, she was back in the tree resting. Nearby we spotted a Hyena who was skulking around. Managed to get one photo before it was too dark. We chased after the Hyena through the bush with a spot light and managed another shot.
The final sighting of the day, was a pride of lions which were reported to be lying on the highway. We got there and saw four female lions on the road, and one young male lying in the grass. They did not move despite being surrounded by vehicles and being lit with spot lights.
Back to the camp site for drinks around the camp fire and then our meal of beef fillet, roast spuds and beans followed by chocolate mouse. All this had been cooked on open wood fires. Brilliant.