That’s right folks, a bonanza of sightings! This is how we roll in Africa.
Monday saw the first day back on campus for all after a much needed seven day break, and once all tasks were completed for camp cleanup, all began preparing for the new semester.
First game drive, (now with students doing a full 4 hour game drive from start to finish), was rewarded with what was to be the first of Many lion sightings! Two , and if I may use the expression (courtesy of past students), “mahoosive” males – translated means somewhere between large and massive, together with the fairer sex were located and provided us with the some of the best photographic opportunities we could hope for! Nice…. to say the least!
The days that followed however, provided us on every game drive the good fortune to come across this beautiful pride on several occasions, with numerous demonstrations of their day to day activities which included stalking, scent marking, territorial advertising (in the form of blood curdling roaring next to our vehicle), and, yes- mention has to be made- a rather smelly toilet break! Lesson learnt, DO NOT park downwind from a lion after they have enjoyed a good meal!
Rifle dry run practice and Biomes, Weather and climate lectures were also the order of the day, fireside braai (barbecue) dinner and for the energetic, a couple of hotly competed games of volleyball filled in the rest of the week , it is tough in Africa , but we do what we can !
The high light of the week however, has to be the very fortunate discovery of another pride of lions which had everyone delighted since, this pride had cubs. Playful as all young animals are, they had the students (and trainers) mesmerized. Absolutely beautiful! This particular encounter was further enhanced by coming across two elephant bulls measuring their strengths up against one-another without even paying a moments notice to our presence as we were leaving for the comforts of the campus after a long, yet rewarding afternoon game drive. Our students are definitely learning a lot, first hand, all about animal behaviour this week! Well done Matt, you have raised the bar a lot, keep up the good work!
Yesterday’s optional activity which took the form of a bush walk was also rewarded with a fantastic sighting of several Ceratotheriums peacefully going about their business! Nature never ceases to amaze folks, and it is a pleasure to be able to share this with our current Bushwise students.
The new week sees us preparing for an entire week focused on birds, with the Bushwise Bird Course coming up, so guys (and girls), shorten your binocular straps, this is going to be a blast.
Until next time!
Trevor and the Bushwise Team