October in Mana

Hello readers I hope you are all well and have had a chance to go on a safari at some point this year, or at least have plans to.

These past two months have been extremely busy and we have met lots of very excited guests here at Kavinga, and we have had the most amazing wildlife encounters and magical moments. 

The heat in October has set in and the sightings lately have been unreal; absolutely fantastic actually!  This last week has been all about leopard. The first sighting was on our morning walk, the type of walk that you would describe as being the perfect morning.

We had started our walk from camp, talking about trees and tracks when suddenly we heard a troop of Vervet Monkeys chattering in a panic.  All bush fanatics know what that means—a predator!  I knew it wasn’t the lions, we had seen them on the other side of the concession. Our slow walk turned into a speed march to catch up to the commotion.  My guests kept up with me; cameras in hand and eyes wide open ready to spot what ever it was causing the panic.

The monkeys lost focus, hit the ground and scattered, one of my guests excitedly whispered, “There! There!”  We went across in the direction which he had seen movement, but it was just one of the monkeys running away.

We did find a large set of fresh leopard tracks that I tried to follow but lost them unfortunately.  I decided to take everyone up to one of my favorite look out points up on a cliff nearby overlooking the Rukomechi river bed with a big over hanging Strangler Fig.  We were admiring the beautiful views when I looked across at the fig tree and the leopard we were tracking was sunning himself on a huge branch.  We all got to see him as he woke up, noticed us and leapt off the branch and landed on the ground in a puff of dust then bolted off.  We were all bubbling with excitement over this treat we weren’t expecting when we noticed him trotting slowly across the river bed below us and then disappear into the thicket.  Seeing a leopard in a vehicle is great, but seeing it on foot makes you realize you are in the middle of the wild and you are experiencing true magic.

The leopard sightings didn’t stop there,  we have been so lucky and have seen several leopard in camp, at the pan, and on other walks too.

The elephant, buffalo and lion have also been regular sightings and we’ve seen a few lion kills in the last few days!  This is truly an amazing time of the year to visit the bush. 

Now we look forward to the rains which will bring a fresh green flourish ,many exciting migratory birds, including the illusive African Pitta!

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