This blog is coming after we are back in Canada, however, things got a bit hectic the last day and so late but by no means last, these are David’s favourite things:
I will start this blog by saying the entire trip was full of favourite moments and to write a blog on just one moment is extremely difficult. Therefore, I will write about two of my favourite things about the trip; a big picture and a specific.
My “big picture” favourite part of the trip was that at all times we had a wealth of knowledge about South African zoology, ecology, history, and culture at our disposal in the form of Dr. Daniel Parker, Dr. Janine Gray, and Dr. Sarah Gatti-Yorke. You can imagine having locals who have studied the local ecosystems makes a trip like this immensely better providing a unique experience.
My specific favourite part of the trip I will write about was our last night drive. On this drive none of us were expecting anything spectacular but you never know when you go on a game drive. We saw common nocturnal creatures such as black backed jackals, springhares, capehares, etc. and then we came upon the lionesses. They were Amakhala’s two sub-adult females and the adult male and female were not there. They were sleeping as the big cats usually do but then something rather spectacular occurred. The lions picked up their heads and began to roar to their parents. It was quite indescribable but I will attempt to do it justice. A lion’s roar is at a low frequency so it can be heard at great distances therefore, when you are just meters away like we were, the roar rattles your ribcage and causes an almost instinctual fear even though you are in the safety of a land cruiser. The lions had three roaring events and I will never forget it. At one point one of the lions stood up and it was the first time I saw a lion on it’s feet and I was very impressed with its massive size. As we drove back to camp I looked up at the visible milky way in the clear night sky devoid of light pollution and I knew I would never forget that experience.
These are my favourite things, David!
Our final pictures at Amakhala were a sad occasion as no-one wanted to leave. Thank you very much to the staff at Woodbury Tented for making our stay so enjoyable and a ‘home-away-from-home’!