Sundown drama

Sabi Sand | April 2019

Autumn daylight tends to be on the short side, more so because our body clock is still on the long summer afternoons that just refuse to end. This gives plenty of time to decide where one would like to stop for a break. Autumn sunsets seem to catch you out unexpectedly and most days you scramble to find a nice spot for an enjoyable golden sunset in the African bush. Or you get reminded by cameras clicking whilst you’re driving, only to find that the day is almost done and cameras are working hard to capture a glimpse of the fast diving sun.

On this particular afternoon we planned our drive to perfection with a wild dog pack chasing impala that appeared to be needing counselling all over the open fields of the woodland savanna. We still had to chase the dying light of the afternoon for our sundowner, we were all smiles and chatty as we poured refreshments and offered snacks.

The echo of cheers was still in the air when time seemed to stand still and we all simultaneously turned to face a scrub hair on a dead run straight towards our spot with a female leopard not far behind. Our taste buds were just getting stimulated and already nature was proving to us how unpredictable it can be. Our minds were caught between chuck the drink and bolt for safety or be brave and hope all will turn out well.

To a trained eye the scrub hare was losing ground fast. With the longer strides of the hunter in pursuit, it didn’t take long. Some drinks had to be poured again since they went missing in the heat of the moment. Scrub hare dead, the leopard watched us from about 20 metres and eventually took her hairy snack in the opposite direction and disappeared into the bush. From that moment on every movement and bush was regarded with suspicion but in the end we all agreed that this was one of the best bush experiences one could have with a glass of refreshment in the middle of nowhere.