Our practical session for our Nature Enthusiast Course here at Nkombe Camp has already come to an end… and what an eventful and exhilarating two weeks it was for our students!

My words cannot nearly explain the incredible things these students experienced but to give you an idea, in the first twenty-four hours of their stay they had managed to witness lions mating as well as a leopard sighting that will go down in history as one of the best ever!

This photo of the leopard was taken by Lizel Bester

A male leopard had made a warthog kill and dragged it into a Common Cluster Fig (Ficus sycomorus). This tree is conveniently placed beside a massive granite bolder in a dry river bed. For years we have been fantasizing about viewing a leopard on this particular rock and what a treat and privilege it was to view this magnificent creature (close-up!) lying on the rock grooming after a bite or two of his well-deserved meal. We all knew this was a “once in a lifetime” experience and that we most probably won’t easily get the chance to see it again. This place is truly amazing and never fails to disappoint…

After settling in with a welcoming “sundowner” in the middle of the African bush, the students returned to camp to a fire and some good, hearty food! We had morning and afternoon walks and drives learning about the spectacular mammals we get to see as well as the “behind the scenes” aspects of nature which put the puzzle together to form this paradise. From birding and tracking to medicinal uses of trees and the identification of new grasses… these students got a well earned dose of what nature has to offer! 🙂

Another highlight was the surprise bush breakfast under a massive Jackleberry tree… need I say more?? The rare sightings did however not end with the male leopard and its kill as the students saw honey badgers… twice! This and many more memorable encounters such as walking amongst baboons in the river bed as well as ground hornbills and a usual visit by elephants in camp! “Never a dull moment” seems to be the appropriate phrase no matter which course or what time of the year…

The icing on top of the cake was when they saw a leopard hunt and kill a duiker which shortly after was stolen by a hyena! How many people can say they have seen this rare and incredible sighting? An event which lasted only a few minutes but will stay in everyone’s hearts forever…

We often get elephants passing through the camp!

As if all of this is not enough to get the heart-rate pumping, there was one thing left to see… the NEC students saw lions on a buffalo kill at night! Now this is something that a person can’t put into words. To see the king of the jungle in killing mode at its best is purely a spectacular experience!

Every night was spent reminiscing about the most breath-taking experiences which each day brings here at Nkombe Camp.

The ANT Blog