Slow Down and Listen

Posted on Tue June 7, 2016.

The sun was setting rapidly in its wintry way. The decision to leave the fresh lion tracks due to the loss of light was a little disappointing but we thought lets check the pan to see if they perhaps popped out to slake their thirst at last night.

Approaching the pan we spot a magnificent kudu bull and a wildebeest coming down to drink. We sit in silence as the full moon rises over the pan. The Double Banded Sandgrouse, chirp and chortle as they vie for females attentions with their bobbing and posturing. The moment is suddenly shattered by the sharp high pitched shrill of a side stripe jackal.

“It’s usually only leopard that make them call like that”

We head off in the direction stopping to listen every once in a while. A hyena skulks out of the fading light.

“Something is definitely up!”

We are close now, the jackal can’t be more than 30m from us towards the drainage line. We move off road, the spot light is fired up in the fading light.

“It’s thick in here folks, please be aware of the bushes, going to try and squeeze into that gap”

In the light I catch the glimpse of his magnificent flank, his rosette patterning seems to glow in the warm orange illumination of the spotlight. He’s snarling, but it’s not directed at us. A hyena approaches the base of the tree he is lying under. A lifeless form hangs above him, out of reach of the wishful hyena.
We switch off and watch in silence. Nothing I can say would add value to the majesty of the sighting.
After an hour we leave the magnificent male leopard and his kill.

The hyena whoops its mournful call.

The jackal makes one last bark as we head off into dark, back to the warmth of the lodge. Sometimes all it takes is to slow down and listen!