On our fourth day of safari, we spent the morning looking for the leopard again. As we drove towards known leopard areas, we found two male cheetahs walking on the road. They were clearly hunting. We slowly followed them in the jeep. At one point, one of them actually climbed a tree to look around. Did you know cheetahs climbed trees? I certainly didn’t! After about 10 minutes, they wandered into the bush off the road. We didn’t follow them since we were likely a hinderance to them finding a meal. But we got to hunt with cheetahs twice! Woohoo!
While we had no luck with the leopard, we drove far out to an area known for large congregation of elephants. I think I heard Uly say 60-80 elephants! When we got there, it was shocking. It looked like a tornado had ripped through the area. There were few bushes or trees standing. I dubbed it the Elephanado. It was incredible to see this devastated place because elephants. Because elephants.
On our way there and back, we met an elephant happily drinking from a pond, leftover from the rains. We were about 10 feet from him as we slowly passed him by. On the way back to the lodge, we found three additional elephants hanging out by the side of the road. Absolutely incredible creatures. They were just relaxing.
That afternoon, we decided to go check out Stompy and the other elephants. As we drove outside the gates, we found the wild dogs had all decided to take a rest under nearby trees. We got to see them really close up. They were adorable even though they would have torn us limb by limb if we had been dumb enough to get on the ground with them. There were over a dozen of them but they sat in 1s, 2s and 3s underneath the trees. Some places you could just see a tail wagging, likely hitting flies off of them. We also saw some puppies piled on top of each other! So neat!
We then went off to find Stompy. Unfortunately, the cloud cover was messing with the antennae. But Uly was able to track them using foot prints, body prints, and fresh dung. All of a sudden we saw a whole herd of them come out of the bushes. There had to have been at least a dozen elephants of all sizes. At one point, the herd crossed behind us.
Then Stompy came out and then charged us! Yes, charged us. Twice! He waggled his head a little and ran at the truck. It was exhilarating. Thankfully we were on the road with him behind us so there was no danger. It was what is called a “mock charge.” Both charges lasted for about 5 seconds. He was playing around, acting tough because of the herd. If it had been a real charge, he would have trumpeted and pursued the jeep!
We then went off to find the hyenas. So far, we hadn’t any sign of them. We did see some jackals, which were adorable. We even heard them calling to one another. We also saw some female kudus wandering around together. But we didn’t find the hyenas. Alas.
The storm clouds emerged in the distance in the later afternoon but we didn’t get rained on. However, we did get a double rainbow, which was super neat.
However, at dinner, we did spot a hyena at the watering hole. At first we thought it was a hippo! However, as it got closer to the water, it was clear that it was dog-like, but not a wild dog. Very neat!
That’s all for now!