WharfedaleBex

By WharfedaleBex

Laughing

Today, we saw a clan of spotted hyenas and we were the ones laughing (silently) in amazement at what's in front of our eyes. 

It's been another cracking three hours pre-breakfast drive seeing hippos blowing bubbles, waterbucks drinking, and dare I say 'the usual' biggies. That sounds appalling but I don't mean it in a blasé fashion; I'm just fairly sure you don't want to read my daily lists! 

After the hyenas, the second super special moment was homing in through the depths of the savannah, leaning this way and that to avoid the spiny acacia branches, to find a pair of usually solitary leopards. ...Mating! 

He wasn't having his lucky moment while we were there. 

But we were. 

As he stood over her, hopeful, we heard the deepest, loudest curdling growl you could imagine. An earthy and raw big cat, 'later darling' sound that came from her as she promptly stood up and walked away. Apparently, she approaches him. And eventually we left while he lay staring in her direction. Waiting. Her powerful but gentle roar is still ringing in my ears.

It's incredible that in this big safari truck, trundling over dry branches and scraping bushes, his ears did not twitch; he was relaxed, he was focused - and it was entirely on her. 

We had a surprise stop for an outdoor breakfast instead of just a hot chocolate. While we ate, love was still in the air with two mating hornbills in a tree behind us and a couple of fish eagles calling to each other.

Before arriving back, we were captivated by a saddle billed stork fishing out of a green watering hole; multiple giraffes walking by, catwalk fashion, one after the other; and beautiful jewels of birds, the blue waxbills. Some welcome rain and cooler air has arrived.

We've been up eight hours, it feels like I've written up my day and lunch is next! There's supposed to be a storm arriving so that may actually be the case today.


...Well! 

I don't know whether my indigestion is from side effects of the malarone tablets or the fact we've been sitting three metres from a pride of seventeen lions eating a buffalo they'd killed this morning. The vultures stayed miles back! 

We were all a bit tense but the experience was outstanding; some happily munching away, some pot bellied and sleeping and the big daddy eating the choice cut and occasionally scaring all of us with a surprise roar at a female who gets too close to the best bits. Chivalry is dead. Feminism is outlawed!

So, it only spat with rain and we've had another full-on three-hour adventure. We saw four of one species together that will be incredibly memorable for many reasons (particularly because the big daddy was standing behind a bush and he looked the size of an elephant!) 

We still love the birds though and the helmeted guinea fowl caught our hearts pecking at elephant dung in the road... Such pretty birds. But enormously dumb! And the battaleur eagle in the tree was a beauty.

I'm cutting it short. We're late for bed and it's only twenty to ten!

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