Sunday, July 3, 2011

the leopard anniversary

Our anniversary day – 10 years of marriage.  It was also our big transfer day out of Botswana and into Zambia. 
An hour jeep drive in the cold cold morning.  Then on to the planes which we waited for at the airstrip and then to Kasane, where we got out and went through immigration out of the country.  We fly out of Kasane on the shortest international flight ever- 25-30 minutes to Livingstone in Zambia- $50 bucks a head for the visa and we are in…. 
Then we have to pay $11 each for airport departure tax in Livingstone – we have been there for 30 minute transfers and at a per minute rate it is quite a steep fee.  We take our Cessna from there to the camp landing strip in Kafue National park.  We will be at the Lupufa River Camp for three nights.
Upon arrival we are greeted warmly by staff and given the briefing and then lunch. The first meal is fabulous with lovely salads and skewers of meat and fruit.  We were about to be shown to our latest accommodations when we are told we must stay behind as an elephant has entred camp and is blocking the way to our cabin/tent.  When we finally do get to our new home we find it quite an upgrade from the wilderness tented camp in the Delta.

At 4:30 we go out for our first game drive.  We find three male lions who lay around for a photo shoot and when they finally decide to get up serenade us with amazing roaring that can be heard by animals for up to 12 kilometers- they just bellow and bellow for several minutes – quite impressive.

We take sundowners (cocktails) out near there and s we come back after dark do a game drive at night with an infrared spotlight.  Our guide is really first rate and we find our leopard the first night thanks to Sam’s sharp eyes.  Photos are terrible because it is pitch black and when the infrared is shining we only get red blobs – but we spent about fifteen minutes with him/her nearby the vehicle once coming along side us from in front and then a few minutes later behind us and then along the other side before going into the bush just as the other jeep arrived.  We left and they followed for quite a while.  
We are thrilled- we have seen our leopard! And it is our tenth anniversary today so for always it will be our Leopard Anniversary!  We get back to camp and have a wonderful dinner and a cake celebrating our special day for dessert. 

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