Carpe diem… Seize the Day… a well-known phrase; but is it actually something we put into practice in this day and age?
When the Londolozi WhatsApp group beeps with a notification about a staff bumble invite, you literally have a few minutes to reply or you won’t get on, as the drives tend to fill up very quickly. Last week I was luckily right by my phone when the message came through and was among the lucky few excited colleagues who were able to head out into the bush…and was it a one not to miss!
As we left camp, the ranger informed us that there was the possibility of seeing a leopard on a kill as well as wild dogs (which up until then I hadn’t seen at Londolozi before) as the two species were very close together, so needless to say I was fairly excited.
With all of us very keen to get their quickly, we sped off to where the sightings had been called in..and boy was the ranger correct… not only did we have the Nkoveni young female lying in the shade below not one but two kills hoisted in a tree atop a termite mound, but also about 100m to the left, two wild dogs lying in the shade next to Circuit Pan. We had to choose which sighting we wanted to get a better look at. Londolozi never ceases to amaze me with the unbelievable animal sightings one gets the opportunity to enjoy.
A few moments later, the wild dogs were up and about and started walking in the direction of the leopard. We waited with bated breath to see if either animal had seen the other. It was incredible to witness how the leopard camouflaged herself successfully, by lying down and keeping dead still, while the dogs sniffed around the termite mound in the hope of getting some remains of the kills. The wild dogs never noticed the leopard, and after a few minutes they trotted off to hunt for their dinner. We followed them for several kilometres before eventually leaving them in the failing light…
Despite not seeing them successfully hunting, the afternoon was really quite something. Quite unforgettable.
It struck me that it is never a wrong decision to head out into the bush. Seize every opportunity to go and explore. You may see amazing sights or you may just see Gwarrie bushes and Knobthorn trees, but at least you’re out there. Wayne Gretzky, Ice hockey legend, is often credited with being the first to say, “I miss 100% of the shots I don’t take” (although he probably adapted this from much earlier, similar sports proverbs) and the same applies to the bush, and life in general…
Get out there. Wake up early for the sunrise. Hope to see wild dogs, even if you might not. Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity.
Carpe the bush diem! Just know that it involves an early start!