“What will today, hold in store for us, I wonder?” said Lady Grum-Peigh as they climbed into the Land Rover for their morning drive. “It’s our last day at Rooiputs and boy, I’m going to miss it!”
They headed straight to Kij Kij arriving around 7 ish. “Oh look there!” called the Earl. “Two male lions!” That was a wonderful surprise. They were lying a little way off from the waterhole, one on each side of the road.
Suddenly Mr Frend-Leigh started his Pathfinder and raced toward them. “It’s a brown hyena,” said the Earl excitedly. And they weaved through the parked cars to get a better view. But the poor creature was spooked by seeing the lions and instead of going for his morning drink he headed away and up a dune.
Then the lions were up and making their way to the waterhole as if to say – hey – nobody drinks from here but us!
After the lions had had a good long drink they moved off into the shade and settled down for a long morning nap. The G-Ps and Leighs went on towards Melkvlei.
“What’s moving over there – oh great – Bat-eared fox!”
One of the foxes stopped and stared straight at them. “At last you’re posing for me, you elusive creature,” said Lady G-P who had seen a few but not managed to get any decent photographs.
There was a lot of game about and they saw many kori bustards and jackals. “That eagle looks different,” called the Earl
“It’s a tawny,” said Lady Peigh “The blond version!”
At Melkvlei Lord Peigh cooked a delicious Banting Breakfast but the Leighs continued on a bit further preferring to have muesli in the car a little later. They also had a lot of packing up to do so would return to the lions and then head home.
After breakfast the Grum-Peighs took a slow drive and enjoyed all the usual game and birds. Then about 1 km from Rooiputs the Earl said, “Look at those gemsbok. They’re standing stock still – there must be a predator somewhere close.” They scanned the dunes with their binoculars – Nada. Then her ladyship dropped her eye to a lower level and nearly fell out of the window – “They’re right there,” she whispered “under the tree.”
“What? where?” whined his Lordship.
“They’re so well camouflaged – three cheetahs – in the shade just where the gemsbok are standing.”
His lordship finally finds them and is amazed at how well they could hide.
At about 5 that afternoon they returned to the spot with the Frend-Leighs. They were on the move and then they flopped down under a tree. They stayed with them hoping they would get up to go to the waterhole but they had to leave at quarter to 7 to get in before dark.
They returned to camp and Mrs Frend-Leigh took out the leftover chili con cairn and they shared the meal with Jan. Everything was packed up as far as possible for departure to Mata Mata the next morning and then they turned in for the night.