It’s freezing outside. You’ve been woken up before the sun and you’re still wiping the sleep from your eyes as someone nudges you out the door and into the fresh, but icy morning air. And then you jump into the game rangers vehicle, the engine roars to life and you start off into a waking wilderness. Wrapped in a soft poncho and thawing from the hot water bottle left on your seat, you immediately begin to appreciate the moment. And you realise that this is why we love a winter game drive. It may be cold to start off, but that’s the beauty of it. Wrapping up warm, sipping on hot coffee and getting excited as we creep into the morning lives of the wild animals.
This week, an early start let us witness a male lion chase and kill a warthog in an eroded gully. The three young cubs, who, can you believe it, are almost a year old now, are beginning to take part in the communal hunting process. After watching and learning from their mother and brothers, they’re quickly getting the hang of it. They’re most active in the early mornings and we really love getting to see them grow and develop on a daily basis.
We’ve also been spotting our sole male cheetah in the early mornings, marking his territory as he makes his way around the reserve. As long as we don’t get too close with the vehicles and invade his personal space, he doesn’t seem to mind us following him around. Sometimes it feels like he’s showing off when he casually hunts down a small impala or duiker. You know, just an average day for a male cheetah. It looks like he plays it safe with the smaller prey though, which is probably to lower his chances of injury.
Us rangers network throughout the reserve and keep in comms via radio so that if someone sees something, they call it through and we all head off in that direction in hopes of a great spotting. But generally we all have our secret go-to spots where we know the views are magnificent and the route filled with interesting finds. I’d love to take you on a journey through the African bush.
See you soon, for your next adventure.