With adventures like this, we have to stay optimistic in seeing things. For instance, today was a bit less climactic as yesterday, and I could tell everyone was a little tired from the day. I like to compare it like this. It’s kind of like a weekend you go skiing. You arrive on Saturday and everything is perfect. The weather is nice and sunny, the snow is great and you have a perfect ski day. The next day, a blizzard rolls in and its cold and windy and totally opposite than the first. However, within that second day, you have so many positives. No, you may not see all your friends on the mountain or get a nice goggle tan, but in that weather the mountain is less crowded, you get to explore so many areas without lift lines and you get fresh powder all day long!
That’s kind of like what happened today. Yesterday was intense and exciting and all the things you would hope for in tracking animals in Africa. Whereas today was a little more relaxed. With times like today, we get to experience a totally different side of tracking. We got to look at older tracks and find out what may have happened, what their daily routines are and how they live. We saw all kinds of animal tracks going back and forth from the water and we were able to piece together their days. We learned about Lion Ants, different types of birds, different types of trees and why they are all essential to the ecosystem here.
We saw lion tracks right away, leading us all around the area, but unfortunately they were still awake that early in the morning and we feared there were more than eight and didn’t want to stumble upon a whole pride of lions hiding in the bushes.
It was absolutely dead quiet today. We started with a car ride that allowed us to watch the sun rise over the mountains, and it was stunning. We listened to the sounds of birds and took many moments to just listen to nature today. What we really enjoyed was climbing on top of a ridge, catching our breath and realizing how quiet it was throughout the day. It’s so peaceful and perfect out here. There’s no car horns, trucks, highway noises, telephones ringing, dogs barking, people yelling. It’s pure bliss.
Last night we sat in silence looking at the stars in amazement. There’s nothing like the southern hemisphere stars. They light up the sky, and it’s amazing that we can sit and appreciate them for a while without the disturbance of light pollution.
The best part about today was on our way back from walking; we got a call that there was a cheetah in the area and that she just made a kill. We all perked up so quickly it was as if we were all injected with a shot of adrenaline! We zoomed up towards her and we saw her lying in the shade panting. She was so cute!! She didn’t even seem like a scary wild animal, she just looked like an overgrown house cat with spots. Although, the kill she made was laying next to her, so that thought quickly left my brain.
It was incredible seeing her! We were so happy to see another African cat and to check it off our list. It was an early day today because we climbed many hills all day. Now we have a bit of time to shower and relax to prepare for more walking tomorrow! With many sightings or not, it is still an incredible day in the bush!
As always, till tomorrow!