We decided on a morning ride today, starting out at 8:30 am to limit the impact of rising temperatures in the late morning. There were 8 of us out, including 3 guides. I tried to carry the Olympus in a holster on a belt and for the main part it worked OK until we extended into a trot, when it became a liability as it bounced around on my hip. I now appreciate one of the reasons that cowboys tied them to their thighs (I'm sure it helped in drawing them in gunfights, as well). In the end I had to ask one of the guides to take it, but when the odd opportunity to get a shot presented itself, it proved difficult to get the camera back quickly enough.
In the main it was a frustrating morning, the wildlife not being very obliging, save a few Impala. We asked the staff about the numbers of animals on the reserve. As you might expect it is very well managed, any area can only support so many animals, which are split into grazers and browsers, either eating the grasses on the ground or leaves in the trees. We were aware that the reserve did not have any of the 'Big Five' so predation is not an issue, so we were surprised when we found out that evidence of a leopard has been found and the odd animal is killed.
One of the Lodge traditions is 'Sundowners', meeting up somewhere within the reserve for a drink as the sun sets. Today, we were taken up high, with a lovely view of the valley. Anyone on the afternoon ride also meets up at this place, removing the tack and letting the horses go to wander back to the lodge. The horses in effect are one of the grazing herds of the reserve, turning up at the lodge each morning for one of their twice daily feeds (see extra).
Other photos have been added here