Tracking and trailing like pros!

It was our first official day at the game park! We grabbed some coffee and last minute essentials this morning in St. Lucia, had breakfast and then loaded everything up in the truck. It wasn’t too long of a drive out here, and we arrived shortly after 11. Our guide, Peter, gave us a tour of the site and showed us our rooms. There’s two to a room and we’re staying in little wooden cabins complete with beds, shelves, comfy chairs and a bathroom! They are extremely nice! Then we had a delicious lunch at the lodge equipped with some mac and cheese and salad. Yummm!

After that, we had our first experience walking on the trails and tracking animals. We set off intending to find some elephants we had seen from a distance at the lodge, and unexpectedly found something even crazier! We were walking along and we found some very very fresh leopard prints. Peter said the cat was out and about maybe an hour or so before us and had probably made a kill nearby. We followed them for a bit and came upon vultures in the sky as well as hyena tracks. We were getting close indeed! We got quiet and snuck around the area where the tracks were headed. Unfortunately at the same moment, a vehicle came through and spotted the birds. They also got a brief look at the leopard apparently pulling it’s impala carcass away before it hid away from us. If the car hadn’t come by, we would’ve been ridiculously close to a leopard. Now, leopards are one of the animals that can hide extremely well, so some people will go years without spotting one. We were so close!!! We did, however, find the remaining bits of the animal it killed and could’ve been sitting nearby, which was still cool!DSCN0155 DSCN0156 DSCN0158 DSCN0162 DSCN0163

After that thrilling moment, we started off in the other direction following the elephants from earlier. Again, we were tracking and again we came upon something else. We found Lion tracks this time! They were heading down towards the water, so we followed them. We all got a bit spooked though because there were a few tracks that split apart in different directions and we couldn’t safely follow both because if we came up on one, the other ones could be somewhere else. We decided to leave them be and maybe find them another day where we know they’re all together. We followed the elephants once more, but the sun was setting and getting a bit chilly. We listened to them romping through the trees and feeding on the branches, until it was time to go home.DSCN0165 DSCN0166 DSCN0170 DSCN0172 DSCN0178 DSCN0179

Overall, it was an invigorating first day and we can’t wait what more time and tracking will bring us the rest of the week!!DSCN0180

Yee haw!!

-Team Leader Tara

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