Today we woke up and realized that it was our final full day here on the safari and were very sad. We’ve had so much fun and were sad to see it come to an end. The usual 5:30am wake-up call and 5:45am meet and greet resulted today in us having our own private game ride since the other family was leaving too early this AM.
The theme of the day was the predator. We started off our morning looking for the wild dogs- we’d seen them a few times before but each sighting is a big deal as there are only 6k left in the world. There was quite a bit of jockeying among all of the guides to get a seat to the show and we were fortunate enough to sneak in to see them.
The pack of 10 dogs was moving at a decent clip- we initially thought they may be hunting but later realized that they were looking for another pack of dogs for a territorial showdown. The funniest thing about this run-in was that there was a hyena just wandering right behind the group, waiting for them to find food and then steal it.
After tracking them for a little while, we made our way over to some lions as the cool temperatures of the day meant that they might get up and go hunt since it’s been a while. While they didn’t move in the AM, it was important that we had their track for our afternoon hunt.
We came back to the lodge and had breakfast. While Debbie got a nice pedicure outside our room, I slept and enjoyed my nap until I woke up, rubbed my eyes, and saw an elephant outside of our room (don’t worry, he was far away).
We rested up and made our way up for lunch to meet some of the new folks at the lodge as 7 of the 9 rooms had turned over this AM and then went back out for the afternoon- we had a mostly private drive as Kevin brought his wife and then there was a friend of the lodge owner on our vehicle as well.
We bolted straight for the lions and ran into quite the crowd trying to get to them so had to be patient. They had moved quite a bit since the AM and now were all together as a pride- the lions from the AM and the cubs from last night. While they still haven’t hunted yet, we’re hoping we see something tomorrow.
The real highlight of the evening drive was when we went to a different leopard to watch him eat its kill. He was sitting in the bush and we’d gotten there during his post meal nap and saw the craziest thing. While the leopard was sleeping, a hyena showed up, found the hidden antelope, and started to eat it. The leopard retreated as hyenas are higher on the food chain than leopards (and could kill them easily) while the hyena ripped apart this animal.
We’ve never heard the sound of a hyena ripping apart bone and it was certainly something we’ll never forget. I could get over the noise but the stench of the dead animal was awful. We maybe sat there for about 20 minutes as the hyena destroyed the animal and then left some remnants for the leopard to have.
We got back to the lodge and prepped for dinner and packed to go home tomorrow. Tonight’s dinner was in the courtyard and we had a lovely cultural show from a local village choir as they sang songs for us and danced before the group. Another lovely meal had come and gone before we came back to finish packing and pass out before our last early morning start and final drive before heading to Cape Town tomorrow afternoon.