James Tyrrell said it himself to me this week. “If we knew what was going to happen out here, we would all have grown bored long ago…”
There’s one thing that we all know – nothing is certain. As cheesy as this sounds, it is what keeps the burning passion alive. It is what keeps people coming back to visit us at Londolozi on a yearly basis.
Almost daily, we are humbled by our ignorance out here. This week was a great example. We had a report from a member of our habitat team, Lion, that two leopards had made a kill close to camp (yes his name is Lion). Off we set as a team to have a look. Based on territory, we presumed the Ximungwe female and her male youngster would be present. Upon arrival, we were blown away to see the Mashaba female (the mother of Ximungwe and grandmother of the young male) walking past the Ximungwe female. The following morning, we returned only to find the Flat Rock male, the Nhlanguleni female, the Mashaba female and the Ximungwe young male all within the vicinity of the kill. No Doubt the Ximungwe female was somewhere around too. That’s five leopards in the same area. So much for our assumptions…
The surprises go on: sorting through trail camera footage and stumbling across a male leopard carrying a cub out of a den; finding out that seven wild dog pups that we presumed were dead had actually been moved to a second den and were all alive; following tracks of a lioness only to be interrupted by two wild dogs behind us while two otters ahead interact with crocodiles. It is really a bit ridiculous how we are constantly kept on our toes out in the bush.
“Explore the Unknown and uncover infinite possibilities” Michael Mullan
As we leave camp every morning, we are faced with a myriad of choices. Which turn will we take at each junction? Do we cross the Sand River to explore the north? This web of possibilities expands with each new turn we take. We are also reminded that by slowing down, we are in fact speeding up the process of fulfilling our daily quest: to find the action unfolding. As we take the time to turn off the Land Rover and be still, utilising our sense of hearing, we are often led in a new direction determined by the sounds of the bush. None of this can be planned. All of it is random and our movements are scripted by the lives of the animals playing out around us. It is this freedom of structure that creates a continuous adventure.
Escape the 8-5 certainty of urban life and come and explore the uncertainty of the wilderness with us…