Thirst comes first.
Silent paws pad down the dirt road, leaving perfect prints. Leopard prints. Warren has picked up the trail of this most elusive cat. It appears to be a male, heading for water. Our eyes scan ahead for the flash of his tail tip. Nothing. Still, my pulse quickens as I flick the video camera onto standby. Leopards are among the rarest of game drive diamonds. We approach the dam slowly, spotlight sweeping from side to side.
The rustle of passing leaves whispers that someone has snuck from view. But we’re focussed forward. Rounding the road’s last bend, we see him! Cutting the engine, we coast closer for a more intimate look. Not too close, preserving the dignity of his personal space. Our frail human faculties can’t detect his scent, although the reverse seems true. Muscles bunch beneath his sleek spots, anticipating action. This is the way at waterholes. Encounters with other creatures are on the cards. After all, Thirst waits for no-one.
Quotes to consider:
“You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst.” – William Langewiesche
“Kissing is like drinking salted water: you drink and your thirst increases” – Chinese Proverb
“Good as drink is, it ends in thirst.” – Irish Proverb
“They talk of my drinking but never my thirst” – Scottish Proverb
“Thirst will parch your tongue and your body will waste through lack of sleep ere you can describe in words that which painting instantly sets before the eye” – Leonardo da Vinci
While reminiscing about the Sabi Sand reserve, and taking a cue from that last quote, I simply have to share a few more of Dave’s photo’s with you. These are from another spectacular sighting at Londolozi, legendary playground of South African leopards. We followed this female for a magical hour or more, before she leapt up a tree:
In videography terms, we call those shots ‘simple reveals’. Now for the ‘wide establisher’:
Don’t you just love her body language, delightfully draped in her natural vantage point?
- South Africa Beyond World Cup Football and Vuvuzelas – Best Vacation Destinations (hotelclub.com)
- Ebony Lodge at the Singita Game Reserve: The Armchair Safari (luxist.com)
- Soccer and Safari – A True Taste of Africa (globalthoughtz.com)
- Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Limited Edition Retreats (apartmenttherapy.com)
- BBC4 ‘Wonderful Africa Season’ (audleyblog.com)