Accomodating : Pom Pom
Transport : Jeep – Allan and Mayor
There are trackers and guides all through Africa and whilst they all do same thing, you know a really good one from just someone who goes through the motions. We have been fortunate as both Max (in Chobe) and Allen (Delta) know their craft. They challenge themselves to use their knowledge, what the trail tells them, what sounds they hear and what things they smell to locate animals that are seemingly to impossible to find. Today was no exception.
We were driving along on our way to the next conversation area where they have re-introduced rhinoceros. I’m think Allen really wanted us to be able to say that we had seen the Big 5 in the Delta and the rhino is one of them. As we’d driving through a marshy area filled with reeds and grasses a metre or so high, Allen yelled out leopard! We all held on for the jeep took off in the direction of Allen’s prediction. It seemed impossible that he would have been able to see the animal in amongst this landscape but he said that he saw the tail sticking up. Sure enough this leopard appeared on a mound and then started looking across at another mound where there was a further leopard. Now seeing one leopard in the wild is incredibly difficult and many people leave Africa without having seen one. They are elusive, solitary animals so to see two near one another was something that Allen said he had not experienced for years. The cats were growling at one another indicating a turf war. It was great to see as our presence made no difference to the way these cats reacted.
The second big find was the rhino himself. It was some drive away but Allen keep looking for tracks along the path, looking for termite mounds which rhinos like and perusing the waterholes to see if there were any fresh tracks left in the mud. Somehow we found him which I think may have chuffed Allen a little more than the rest of us (this was especially the case when we heard from other people that a third leopard had appeared and a fight had ensued)
Regardless though both finds where testament to Allen’s prowess and his knowledge of the area (he was born in the Delta)
Between safaris it was damn hot. There were better options than sitting in the tent as it was just too warm, so we hovered around the pool drinking cold drinks and enjoying a fee spare moments and eaves dropping on a very annoying single English lady who spent two hours complaining to the manager that there were no power points in her room and how could she charge anything, do her own ironing and use her electric toothbrush. Some people! Another family was endeavouring to explain to their young daughter why you couldn’t turn on technology and just get the internet…two different worlds…two different challenges.
Having spent the day with our two older passengers and then had an enjoyable evening discussion with them and a family of Germans, you should never judge a book by its cover. They turned out to be very nice people, even if he was starting to lose a little of his short term memory. He was very sweet, holding her hand to take her into the bushes when a toilet break was needed -.unlike Philip and Allan who would sometimes head for the bushes but in the event there weren’t any, would say they needed to check the tyre (being boys I think marking their territory more like it)
Enjoyable, hot day but the Big 5 marked off yet again. The highlight of the day was definitely the leopards (although the chicken schnitzel was also most unexpected)