After a fantastic 2 weeks of leave, I am refreshed and ready for the holiday season out here at the wonderful Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve. The festive season has already taken hold here and the staff have all got their presents waiting for them. The animals have also been in a festive mood showing off their best for us whilst we have been on game drives and even in between. Just arriving at the airstrip for the next cycle, to be greeted by the Southern Pride feeding on a buffalo 40 metres away from the terminal building is a great reminder of how lucky I am to do something I love, in a place filled with so much magic it leaves me with goose bumps.
The pride was all split up but slowly joined together again with the 2 remaining 6 month old cubs being the last to join the feeding frenzy. The two young sub adult males that have been split from the pride have not been seen but are just north of the reserve and apparently are a little worse for wear. The highlight for me though was getting to see Floppy Ear’s cubs for the first time. The 2 month old youngsters were full of play with their older cousins not hesitating to play babysitter as the little ones chewed on their ears.
The other morning I was even greeted into the lodge by a Marbled Tree snake, which had caught a Yellow House bat and fallen from the ceiling. It continued to bite and envenomate its prey. It consumed the small bat with an audience watching and photographing and once it had finished I moved it outside and it posed for a while before moving off all fat and bulging from its hearty meal.
The first couple of drives were littered with the Big 5: Sandriver had killed a warthog; the Southern Pride were doing damage all over the place; the Kruger male had stolen a buffalo kill from the females; and so it went on. The work cycle could not have taken off on better note and I look forward to the next 5 weeks of festive cheer, animals and friends.