November 16 – Last Morning Game Drive – Selinda
Isaac spent a good deal of time looking for tracks. We were racing around a corner because Isaac had heard a lion’s roar in the distance when we came face to face, again, with a monstrous-sized hippo – our second close encounter in four days. Isaac threw the vehicle into reverse faster than we could recite “Our Father who Art in Heaven”. Despite the fact that we were traveling in a mega-heavy Land Cruiser with lots of momentum going our way, we bowed to the beast and gave her plenty of leeway: Advantage Hippo.
Never did find the elusive lion that morning but we were fortunate to meet up again with Leopards #4 and #5 – this represented our seventh leopard sighting in four days – thank you Isaac, you are truly masterful! We followed the mother and cub for probably 30 minutes, not really sure where they were going, though the mother did seem to be on a mission. She ultimately decided on one particular leafless tree to rest under. It was a hot day and it didn’t make any sense to Isaac why she had made this choice. As he took a closer look, his eye finally came to rest on a young impala high up in the branches. This reminded Isaac of a funny guide story – this comes in under the extensive category of “really stupid guest questions”. As the story goes, a guide had brought his guests to view a leopard up in a tree with her impala kill. I guess the impala was positioned in such a way that it wasn’t completely obvious that it was in fact dead, leading the inquisitive guest to ask the guide “why did the impala climb up the tree??”. A corollary to that story was the guest who asked “why was the zebra sleeping so close to the lion??”. The best guides seem to have the perfect mix of intelligence, awareness, patience, bravery and definitely a sense of good humor.
Here are some fun shots of mother and daughter taken by Evan. While the little one finally noticed her “impala on a stick” snack, she did not venture up the tree before we had to leave for “Selinda International” at 10:10am. Mother and Daughter really gave us a special send-off.
We gave a sad farewell to our old friends Tony and Michelle and our newest friend, Isaac Seredile and the many rosette’d four-legged friends he introduced us to. Selinda had once again, treated us to amazing animals, life-altering experiences and long-lasting friendships. Special thanks to Isaac and Lizzie (Selinda Camp Manager) for making our trip so memorable.
Kealeboaga and Selasemtle… but looking forward to being able to say Dumela again as soon as we possibly can! (And for those of you less “fluent” in Setswana, Kealeboaga means “thank-you” and Selasemtle means “good-bye”. Dumela, of course, is a welcome greeting – I hope that I don’t have to wait too long before I can hear and say “Dumela” again…)