Action on foot

Posted on June 18, 2012

“Walking trails are all about using the senses and absorbing oneself in all the small thing’s in the bush”, I explain to my South African guest Suzie and her friend Linda who is visiting from the UK. Both ladies are really keen to experience a walking trail.

So after morning drive we park the Land Rover down in the Mabrak river, go through the all important safety briefing and head off to look for interesting smaller things, we think…

Setting off…

Thanks very much Suzie for the great pictures!

This is a unique blog because circumstances don‘t usually allow for walks to be documented.

After almost 20 minutes we stop to look at some birds and spot a grey blob in the distance, binoculars confirm that it is the animal we respect most on foot…a lone older buffalo bull or “daggoboy”.

Usually we would avoid him but what makes this situation different is that the wind, terrain and cover are all in our favour as well as some very obedient, well behaved and willing fellow trailists!

We view him for a while and take some pictures without him even knowing and then when the wind swings a little he smells something and lifts his head. This is our cue to back off without him seeing us and without disturbing him, a really thrilling encounter.

Suzie with the “old boy” in the background…totally unaware we are there.

We then circle back to the vehicle and find a rather large surprise waiting for us close to the Land Rover!

See if you can spot the elephant bull

Wisely we choose to loop around so the wind is in our favour and watch him for a while without him seeing us…hoping for him to move off in the opposite direction…time goes on…and on…and on…we wait! He will move when he is ready in HIS time!!

So just as we think he is heading the other way, THE WIND CHANGES and he picks up our scent and comes over to investigate!! Left with no choice I have to show myself to him, making sure the guests are in a safe position and send him on his way.

Reunited with our Land Rover we head back to camp with big smile and a little adrenalin still flowing!

12 thoughts on “Action on foot

  1. Awesome Dave…lucky ladeis to see 2 of the Big Five on foot! Just to add…the fact that you guys are wearing t-shirts & you are still in shorts….well, it’s just not right!!!!!

  2. Thanks Dave, – I had never before given thought to the fact that the stationary Landrover WITHOUT the occupants presents an unfamiliar profile, and therefore may look strange and create novel interest to the animals…….

  3. amzing encounter and well documented by the photos. Dave I am sure you developed a healthy appetite after the adrenalin rush.

  4. Oh, my. I got my own adrenalin rush even from the other side of the world reading your commentary and seeing the pictures.
    Fabulous. Thanks.

  5. How lucky for us that your guest had a camera, and let us share in their walkabout. Thank you for the pictures and blog. Looked like fun

  6. My first walk was at Leopard Hills in August 2003 with Trevor leading the way. All of us had absolute confidence in Trevor, and no one flinched when he positioned us downwind, but what seemed remarkably close to an enormous elephant. What a thrill. The definition of fearless is trust your guide, and we did.
    These pictures are brilliant. Thank you so much for sharing them.

  7. Glad you all enjoyed the blog as much as we enjoyed the walk!

    Hahaha Arno, there are rounds in the magazine but none in the chamber, so it definitely wasn’t loaded!

    I agree with you Tim, the elephant must have been curious as to where the occupants where in this unfamiliar looking Land Rover!

  8. Dave – thank you so much for making our trip to leopard Hills so awesome. The walking safari was the most amazing experience and for those of you out there who plan to return to leopard Hills or still visit i highly recommend this adrenalin rush activity. I had the utmost respect and faith in Daves abilities to secure our safety at all times on this walk and on the drives. Daves knowledge and experience is incredible.
    These will be memories i will cherish for a liftime and the cherry on the top – i captured it on camera!!!

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