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Saturday, 23 June 2007

Spotting a Leopard on Safari? - Page 4

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For the first three days of our safari tour, she has eluded us. Our host, Corbis, offers a simple explanation: as one of Africa's stealthiest animals, the leopard can choose whether she'll be seen. He cautions us not to get discouraged, insisting she's always around you, sitting in the tall grass along the road, or high in a tree, lazing on a branch. He urges us to keep looking, saying that at any moment, without warning, you could find yourself facing her.


Standing in a clearing, we sip South African wine from silver goblets. The sun glows red over the mountaintops; soon it will disappear until dawn. "Four out of five isn't bad," I say to Christa. I suppose I'm just consoling myself.elephant


Gerritt shakes his head. "She was there," he groans, "She just didn't want to be seen."


A cool rain lulls us to sleep that night, and unlike the previous three mornings, we emerge from our cabin in cotton pants and nylon jackets instead of safari shorts and vests. The rain continues falling, so we sit on the lodge's veranda, sipping Rooibos tea, and waiting for the airport van. I flip through Corbis's photo album. There she is – the leopard –staring at me from the page below. "You're a sly one, aren't you?" I whisper.


Hearing me, Corbis nods in agreement. We grin at each other. Probably because we know she's grinning too.



Details: The trip was a private 4-day African wildlife safari at Bundu Lodge,, Greater Kruger National Park Area, South Africa.


© Paul Lalonde




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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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