Whole Day Safari
Recently we took a whole day game drive into the Nsefu sector of the park. Wanting to explore with our guides and test out our chef’s picnic ability!
A classically early safari start, we left at the normal time of 6am with a fully packed car and eager excitement. After crossing the river, the car turned right and we set off to the area around Lion Camp. Inaccurately named we saw no lions but rather leopards!! The drive up north was really stunning, the area is full of beautiful ebony forests. The light dances through the dark wood and dark green leaves creating beams of sunlight that burst through the trees. That magical light backlit 100s of baboons, baby owl chicks, shy bushbucks and ever watching raptors.
Whilst the wildlife is never guaranteed it was a successful trip with lots of bird species ticked off the list, 2 leopards including a cub, buffalo, elephants, kudu, warthogs, zebra and of course our endemic giraffe! We enjoyed our first stop around 8.30 with a delicious buffet of hot coffee, full English breakfast, the ever-famous breakfast cookies and a selection of fresh fruit!
After our bellies were full, caffeine levels replenished and legs stretched we headed onward on our quest!
This is when we found the first leopard. A beautiful female sub adult who put on quite a show for us. The wonderful part was we had the sighting all to ourselves. Not only as it was out with normal safari timings it was quite far from any of the camps. As the park gets busier in high season this was a real treat and would have allowed the leopard to be very relaxed with just us rather than the pressure of many cars that can lead to the animal (rightfully) running away. We sadly cannot control other cars or guide behaviour, especially the self-drivers so having quality time at a sighting alone is one of the many reasons to choose an all-day drive and pick a lodge further in the park (like us!).
After our relaxed leopard went off into the bushes to escape the midday sun, we too parked under some shade, got the chairs out and had a relaxing picnic lunch. Jokes and stories were shared around the table and we made a valiant attempt to try and make a good dent in chef Douglas’s feast! From salads, breads, quiches and chicken drumsticks it was a lunch to remember as we watched the impalas, pukus and elephants wander past. As lunch drew to a close, we started the journey back to camp. we found another leopard by a lagoon (we think the cub’s mother) and many a raptor on the way home, which we took great delight in the ID’ing debates that ensured!
We had a coffee and cake stop along the river arriving at camp just in time for a sundowner and more snacks (never be afraid we will not feed you enough, we take the challenge to keep you full personally!).
We have a unique location that the sun rises over the river on the right-hand side and sets on the left, 180 degrees of reds, oranges, pinks and yellows as the sun comes up and down over our heads. Pure magic as the elephants bathe and cross the river to camp, our resident antelopes and monkeys retreat for the evening and the lions start to call out along their territorial boundaries. An incredible day!