Singita Pamushana

Pamushana | October 2011

This month has been all about arrivals – many predictable like the return of migrant birds, some delightful like the discovery of newborn leopard and cheetah cubs, and some astonishing such as the appearance of otters and pelicans in the Malilangwe Dam below the lodge. Great white pelicans (Pelecanusonocrotalus)have not been seen on the dam water in at least the last five years, so we were thrilled to spot them this week. These expert anglers can weigh up to 11kg and soar through the sky on wingspans that at 3.5m are among the longest of all birds.

The presentation of two baby leopard cubs – an extremely rare and intimate sighting

The highlight of my life to date, and a scene that I cannot imagine being eclipsed by anything else, took place during the crisp cool hours of sunrise at 05h30, in mid October. I set out with Allan Munyaradzithe researcher in charge of habituating and studying the habits of a female leopard (Pantherapardus) in the northern area of our reserve.