Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Safari 2014 Journal: Eleven Glorious Days (Day 7)

6/7/14: Going Out With a Bang

Our last full day and night at Singita Ebony.  We went out in style! Another early start with a shot of coffee (and tea) before the dynamic duo of Coleman and Thimga took us out in search of the female leopard we saw on the 5th.  The neighboring camp had reported seeing her with her two four-month-old cubs heading towards Singita property.  It didn’t take long for Thimba to pick up the fresh trail as he and Coleman abandoned the Rover to us while they set out on foot…armed.  After 2+ hours of starting, stopping and off-roading, the boys picked up the hot trail where mama leopard had killed an Impala (Happy Meal) and dragged her into the brush to feed her cubs.  Cin was able to snap some fantastic shots of the mother and her shy but adorable cubs.  I believe the thrill of the tracking was as exciting, exhilarating and rewarding to Coleman and Thimba.

Upon returning to camp for breakfast, a herd of several dozen elephants had decided to come down to the Sand River to graze and drink.  Soon after, a pack of over 50 baboons decided it was time to frolic on the beach.

We told Coleman that the afternoon safari had to include Rhinos and Cape Buffalo to round out the BIG FIVE.  I think after the morning hunt of the Leopard, the boys felt the afternoon mission was anticlimactic.  But, they obliged and we soon came across a mother White Rhino and her “little one” who seemed disinterested in our presence.  We then drove into the middle of a 600 head herd of Cape Buffalo; that’s a lot of beef!  We enjoyed our final sundowner with the boys and told them to take the morning off on the 8th so they could sleep in and we would do the same.  They seemed genuinely grateful!

Upon returning quite chilled to the bone from the afternoon safari, we were surprised to find a hot bubble bath waiting for us and rose petals decorating the bathroom.  The bath was wonderful though I cannot remember my last bubble bath!

The day ended with our man Auto (not Otto) preparing a private dinner for us in the cabana by the pool, lighted by candle lit lanterns in the trees and walkway.  A lovely closing moment for a wonderful stay at Singita Ebony.

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