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Ranger Reflections – June 2018 Jason Botes

Camp Jabulani Ranger, Jason Botes

Ranger Reflections – June 2018 Jason Botes

Camp Jabulani Ranger, Jason Botes

Jason Botes Ranger , Camp Jabulani

Here at Camp Jabulani, we are fortunate to experience many incredible sightings on an ongoing basis, so choosing one remarkable occasion is challenging. I have therefore chosen a guest’s most memorable sighting to share with our readers.

I recently had the pleasure of taking Josh and Stephanie Smit on game drives and on meeting them, I asked which animal they were most hoping to see. Without hesitation, they replied, “leopard”. They continued to explain that in seven years of doing safari’s in various reserves, they had never seen a leopard.

So it was really important to me that I try and find a leopard during their stay.  Three days went by and the closest we came, was hearing a leopard, seeing its tracks and stumbling upon a leopard’s kill.

It was the guests’ last night and their penultimate game drive. We were more determined than ever to find a leopard…

Pride of lions with their cubs The Pride of lions with their cubs.

An hour into our afternoon drive, we came across a pride of lions and were rather mesmerized by their lion cubs, so that was a great start to our drive.  After we left the sighting, it was not much further that we were graced by a most magnificent male leopard. There are no words to describe the awe-inspiring sight!  Even more astounding was the fact that we spotted another two leopards before Josh and Stephanie’s departure, they were so happy, and it really made me content that they had finally seen a leopard on safari, at Camp Jabulani.

The Deep Stare of a Leopardess The Deep Stare of a Leopardess

Another noteworthy spectacle that I won’t forget in a hurry is a rather peculiar lion-hunt. Witnessing any lion hunt in its natural habitat is truly amazing as each one is completely  unique.

In this instance, we had gotten off to a late start for our evening game drive and the sun was already setting. Not far into the drive, I spotted fresh tracks and we unanimously decided we should follow them. All of a sudden, one of the guests caught sight of a lioness sitting warily on a nearby termite mound.

We approached with caution and soon realised it was a lone lioness who was in the process of hunting for her dinner. She started digging determinedly at the termite mound, until eventually, she disappeared inside!  We waited in anticipation. Thinking she had found a different exit, we were about to give up when we were startled by squealing sounds coming from the mound and five warthogs scurried out.  After a total of 45 minutes, our tenacious lioness finally emerged, swishing and flicking her tail with her prize of a young warthog in her mouth. This was truly one of the most bizarre and interesting hunts I have ever witnessed.

Lioness rear in the air Lioness rear in the air, as she was hunting warthogs

 

Just to finish off,  here are some more pics from my recent weeks at Camp Jabulani,  both on and off duty, that I have been fortunate to have been present at to photograph. Enjoy.

 

Elephant Silhouette at Sunset, Camp Jabulani Elephant Silhouette at Sunset

 

Dwarf Mongoose on the Lookout on Kapama, Camp Jabulani Dwarf Mongoose on the Lookout

 

Majestic Rhino drinking water at Camp Jabulani Majestic Rhino drinking water

 

Spotted Eagle Owl Scanning for Prey. Spotted Eagle Owl Scanning for Prey.

 

 

 

 

2 Comments
  • Sandra + Philipp
    Posted at 10:34h, 22 July Reply

    Hi Jason
    For us was this special experience with the Lion in the termite hill also the most interesting hunt that we have witnessed.
    Thanks for the unforgettable days at the Camp Jabulani. We hope we come back and then you are also our Ranger.
    Greetings from Switzerland Sandra and Philipp

    • Camp Jabulani
      Posted at 14:52h, 22 July Reply

      Hi Sandra and Philipp!
      Great to hear from you, hope you are doing well in Switzerland. We are delighted that you had a good stay with us at Camp Jabulani.
      We will definitely pass on your lovely comments to Jason, who will be very happy to see you visit again, one day in the future. Thanks again for staying with us.
      Have a great week to come,
      From all of us at Camp Jabulani.

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