I’m back!  I know it’s been quiet some time since I last posted photos on my blog so thank you for hanging around.  Hopefully in the next few months I can start updating my blog on a more regular basis. I still have lots of photos from my trip last year to Kenya to add in addition to all the new photos I have of wildlife in Alberta, Canada. But I thought I would start off with a few photos from my most recent trip to South Africa. The reason for the trip was because I was teaching a course at the annual Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) Healthcare Workshop hosted by JGI Chimp Eden in Nelspruit, South Africa. The workshop is for veterinary personnel working in sanctuaries throughout Africa that care for great apes (gorillas, chimps, bonobos).  I have been involved with PASA since 2003 and I am always amazed each time I come to these conferences to meet the vets working throughout Africa that do so much for the wildlife in their sanctuaries with so little in terms of supplies and basic things like reliable electricity.  If you are interested in learning more about PASA please visit http://www.pasaprimates.org or find them on Facebook.

After the workshop I rented a car with a colleague from the workshop and we drove the short distance from Nelspruit to Kruger National Park.  If you have the opportunity to visit this park I highly recommend renting a car and making your own safari.  It is not any more expensive than going with a safari company and you can set your own itinerary.  We woke up at 4am to be at the camp gate when it opened at 430am and started the morning game drive. About two hours into the drive we started passing by a bunch of large acacia trees and I thought they would be excellent places for a leopard to be resting in. Literally within a few minutes I spotted a leopard sitting up in a tree about 50 feet away. We watched if for about 10 minutes as it tried to get comfortable in the tree and get some sleep. However, it was restless and seemed to be distracted by something. It got up, stretched and slowly made it’s way down the tree to the ground. At this point all I could see was it’s tail.  Initially it stayed in the spot it landed on the ground but then all of a sudden it started jumping around in the tall grass as if it was playing with something.  Within a few seconds I could no longer see it anymore but I was confident that if we had patience we would see it again. We slowly circled the car around the next corner and then backtracked to the original spot but did not see the leopard. We circled around the corner again and just as we started to drive off my colleague yelled out “leopard, no two leopards!” They were sitting in the grass about 20 feet away staring at us!  We couldn’t believe our luck. Not one, but two leopards and both were in a clearing with great morning light on them. Over about five minutes we watched them as they made their way through the green grass. It appeared it was a mom and her almost full grown female cub.  They rubbed chins together as they walked along without a care that we were there. The next two photos are a few more I took before they disappeared.

Advertisements