|Pisst...I have something to tell you!|
Xivindzi and Xivambalana.
What an amazing week and half! After 4x4ing with my little sedan, I managed to get back to the sands yesterday! I was going to spill the beans on my future earlier in the week, but as the saying goes plans of mice and men....., so I had to leave you with a cliff hanger! I was only going to spend a night with Joe and Penny in Kruger, but circumstances changed which allowed me to stay the week with them and I am so glad I could! We had wonderful sightings of the magnificent 7 including hunting cheetah and leopard as well as a pack of 15 wild dogs strolling by the vehicle! Apart from the delicious food and many fantastic moments, the company was wonderful and all enjoyed more than just a giggle I can tell you! I even participated in a few firsts as well; being in the tail end of cyclone was one of them. I think the northern sands has been quite lucky with very little damage compared to the South and even Hoedspruit. (I will write a separate blog about the trip though!)
|Cheetah from Kruger after the rains|
Anyway I digress! Before I went to Kruger to see Joe, Penny and her family, I was busy organizing my head and life! After the time spent with my family in the UK it has helped me to decide which direction I want to head in. I do miss the Uk and my family, but I still love Africa and her creatures, especially the cats and rhinos as you all know. With this in mind I have decided to join the Ingwe Leopard Research.
|The Kruger before the rains|
There is need of a zoologist to run the research and the Black leopard campus volunteer scheme. Although it is something I have never done before, I do enjoy a new challenge and have wanted to do some form of research even before I joined WildEarth. At this stage in my career I believe it is the best step for me, but I still want to keep a track of what happens with Karula and her family, even if it is popping up on leave to see her and of course I will keep you posted too! There is going to be a lot of scope for development and new skills to learn, which I am very excited about and of course learning more about these special spotted felines is going to be fascinating!
I will be based in a small camp nestled in one of the valleys in Lydenberg at Thaba Tholo game reserve and it is a stunning little spot! A small waterhole which is frequented by game and sometimes, I would wager, leopard, will be over looked by the volunteer tents as well as mine! I will be keeping you all up to date on the progress and of course about the leopards and my tales. I hope you will join me for this next chapter and who knows where it will lead!
If there is anyone wanting to know more information about the Ingwe Leopard Research here is the link http://www.ingweleopard.com/. If anyone does want to volunteer please get in touch with us!
|Karula and a 6 month old Xivindzi|
And just one more bit of news before I sign off, I am sure everyone will be over joyed to hear Karula and both cubs were seen this morning enjoying playing in the puddles as the walked down Vuyatela access road. Sadly I didn't get to see them but staff did! I will try and get out in the next couple of days to check on the hyena den!