The unique and rare

Sabi Sand | July 2018

An extremely rare sighting occurred this month with the next one only happening in eight year’s time. A phenomenon that would have been seen in only a few counties this time, a well known sight to some, the blood moon. The occurrence of Earth and the moon being in perfect alignment for the shadow to be cast over the moon leaving it with a reddish color for over three hours during the total eclipse.

Several guests opted to stay out in the bush and watch the eclipse from the comfort of blankets and cushions next to the Land Rovers on an open clearing, whilst others had dinner under the stars and watched it unfold with dancers hypnotically swaying to drum beats.

Whether it’s seeing a leopard for the first time, or listening to elephants communicate, the essence of the wild draws our attention and often mesmerizes us with her beauty all the time, this was one of those moments that many will not forget in the wild.

Taking in all of the rare encounters in one week was hard to imagine, but it did indeed happen. Field Guide, Leon van Wyk, and his guests were enthralled when their tracker Renneck excitedly put his hand up for Leon to stop the vehicle, and pointed out a pangolin waking through the dry grass. This was a sighting noone wanted to miss out on!

As guests cautiously climbed off the Land Rovers to take a closer look without disturbing this elusive creature, it moved occasionally, and this was greeted with whispers of excitement and the flicker of camera shutters going off. As guides explained the reasons for its rarity, it was hard to imagine what the bush would be like without these secretive animals. Even though we don’t see many rare creatures, one in
particular as rare as this always comes to guests’ and guides’ minds when we discuss what would be the rarest sighting to see.

To add to the value of this month’s incredibly rare sightings, a female in a pack of wild dogs has had 11 puppies. The den-site is secluded in thick bush and a visit to it can be a hit or miss affair. Often the pack covers large distances and on most occasions the only time that we have been able to witness the puppies emerging from the den has been after the guides were able to follow the members back to the den-site.

We look forward to further prospects of seeing the wild dogs actively hunting in the area. Last week guests staying at Boulders Lodge were fortunate enough to watch the pack hunting in front of the lodge before they departed on their morning game drive. Now that’s a very exciting start to the day!