Hi there everyone!

We had an extremely special week filled with unforgettable sightings of big game as well as invaluable experience and knowledge gained…

To experience the African bush on foot is truly a wonderful privilege. One uses all of one’s senses to become a part of the wilderness.

To view the Big Five on foot is a whole different experience than from a vehicle and, even though you can’t get as close to the animals on foot, I feel it is still a much better, priceless experience.

Our trails guides were lucky enough to experience this as they had all these brilliant animals on foot… in only one week!

Walking in the bush is such a treat!

On one particular day we were walking in the south of the reserve, which is an extremely beautiful area to be in on foot. We came across some buffalo, which we soon realised was a breeding herd. We planned the approach and halfway in we spotted some ears flicking around in the grass. We almost couldn’t believe our eyes as six lionesses were lying camouflaged in the tall grass not too far from the buffalo! We then did a successful (and unforgettable) approach on the lions as well as the buffalo before extracting out of the area. After walking a couple of minutes we then again found some buffalo in the distance. We planned another approach when, to our surprise, we noticed the lionesses to our left following the breeding herd! This was an unbelievable sighting as we got to see these animals in their environment carrying on with their natural behaviour – amazing!

We heard stories about other people’s experiences with rhino middens

Another incredible walk took place as we approached a couple of elephant bulls very close to where our camp is. We approached and had a beautiful look at these magnificent animals as they continued feeding along the drainage line. As we extracted back to where we had come from, we heard a horrifying sound coming from a very short distance to our right. No-one knew what had made this frightening sound until we saw a leopard explode from the bushes only metres away from us! The female cat had dashed away from us into the drainage line and we actually had a surprisingly good visual of her as she walked on the other side of the dry riverbed. Something none of us will forget!

As if the above is not enough, we had what we called an ‘Elephant Friday’… It all started on Thursday evening as the camp was woken up in the middle of the night by the majestic rumbling sound of elephants, followed by numerous trumpeting calls. All of this took place literally in our camp. This was the followed by the whooping and cackling of a hyaena clan in camp, as well as the moaning of a male lion coalition. It was one of those evenings where all the activity was at Nkombe Camp and it was definitely the place to be!

The next morning we set out for our walk, expecting some elephant encounters… and that is exactly what we got!

We had encounter after encounter as the reserve seemed to be booming with elephants. We then experienced something extremely special and it must go down as my favourite sighting of all time…

We approached a breeding herd of elephant that were far in the distance. We had elevation on our side, as well as a big termite mound on which we stood and viewed the animals.

We were lucky to see so many elephants!

We watched them from across a relatively open area, whereupon they decided to approach us. We stood our ground, knowing that we had the perfect extraction point, as well as being secure in the fact that it was the elephants choosing to approach us. We watched in admiration as the matriarch lead the rest of the group towards us. They eventually walked past us only twenty metres away and continued feeding on the go. It was such a spectacular sighting!

These are only a couple of examples of what the week had in store for us and what a fANTastic week it was! Unforgettable moments and, as always, so much to be learnt!

The ANT Blog

Ps. A big thank you to Craig Fitt for all the photos!