Joy, tears and laugh

Lorenzo really wanted to go and try to see Sable antelope. I had no guests to guide and to be honest a nice sleep in was luring....
Friendship is friendship so I decided to bring him there and there we went with Saidi, Tony and Daudi, the new trainee guide.
At 6.30 we left camp and ventured around 8.00 into the kingdom of tse tse flies, the road was well manteined so we could proceed steady.
We spotted a big lioness in the reeds but no sign of sable, not even hartebeest showed themselves to Lorenzo's disappointment.
Lot's of duikers, impalas and giraffes!!
Birding was stunning, we got a handful of nice species like Raquet tailed roller, Shelley's francolin, Black collared barbet and Ruaha black and white chat, a bird recently identified as a new specie by Rob and Sue.
Even Lore was happy regardless the sable no show

But there was also something horrible, we found a dead elephant, a decent size bull, possibly wounded by poachers, it was dead for a month, a pile of bones and rotting meat. We could see what looked like small caliber bullet holes on the forehead. The tusks were still there and quite big, so probably the poor chap was shot, was not killed and run away to die somewhere else, the poachers unable to track him down. We called the rangers that later on came to deal with that, removing the tusks.
Nothing should be killed in this way... I really feel the pain and the fear of this bull...
Let's shake the sadness off and procceed...

The big surprise had yet to come.... we were driving back around 2.15 when we suddenly run into a pack of 10 hunting dogs. They are resting under the shade of a big bush.
We decided to stay and watch and wait patiently them to move. We told other guides as well, so other cars came and we waited together.
Jan Corlett and Rogers Burrows also managed to arrive which was perfect timing considering how mad the are about dogs... soooo happy for them!
The dogs tested our patience and did not move before 6.10.... but then it was a show, great light, dogs going and coming back, playing around, checking the surroundings, sniffing the ground, running one after the other.
It was healing joy after all we had the last month.
Now Lore was really happy...
A couple of Serengeti for dinner and then to bed...
Sara the manager, called me at 2.00 in the night from tent number one she is sharing with her sister in visit, "Pietro, there are lions eating something between my tent and the lounge, can you please check the waiters are not going to wake up guests at 5.45 by foot"... sawa, I woke Lorenzo up and we went to have a look, we walked up to the lounge to find a lioness just ouside, by the birdbath.
She moved off, joined by other three and then came back some twenty meters form the loung in the grass munching something. We left her reassured from the fact that they were eating something small and they would be long gone in the morning... happily we went back under the duvet...
Now I hear snoring and the Lorenzo's voice asking me how was possible that from the staff quarter someone could be heard all the way to our tents. It was weird so we decided to investigate... we went behind our tents and surprise!!!! an elephant bull was sleeping on its side, on the ground and snoring like no man's business!!!
We had a good laugh and I was still smiling when my eyes closed..


The supreme hunter 26/7/2012

A leopard in the late morning, she is exploring mbuyu ya tobo, a hollow baobab in the open patch in front of the mwagusi river. She moves off slowly towards the river bed and climbs down the bank. she is gone but not fo long, after some minutes she is up again and walks towards lulenga juu.
Is not a fast pace, it is a slow walk, in and out of the wild lavender, she stops and lay down just to start walking again soon after, she smells a rain tree and she is thinking wether to climb it or not, she lays down again, her mind clear.
Even this resting bout does not last long, here she moves again, she walks silent, almost effortless through the bushes.
Impalas are just ahead but she does not know, yet.
Suddenly crossing the space between two bushwillows she sees them, she freezer, she gets down and moves off in a very low walk, she goes around another bushwillow and disappears.
The impala are feeding but slowly they start moving off, they walk opposte to the bushes were the leopard is hiding.
The all move slowly but a female who keeps eating for a fraction of a second more.
And here it is, a lightening of  black and yellow fur hits the impala full blast, the ewe does not even have time to turn the head, she is on the ground, the cat already holding the throat.
She tries to react but the leopard does not budge, the cat is holding, the impala struggling for her life.
She finds the last bit of strenght and she stands triyng to force the leopard to loosen her grip, she almost managed.
The leopard still has energy enough, the ewe is on the ground again, now death comes, she can not fight the hunter anymore.
The ewe life ended, the leopard cubs will survive another week.

The buffalo cries

Here is a buffalo bull, sitting in the drainage line, i thin and deep drainage line. The sun is scorchino, the air still.
His eyes are wide open, stricken with panic and shock, lions are behind him, already feeding on his back side.
Is part of Kipunji and they are not good buffalo hunters, the bull is there, already doomed but still they are not able to finish it, they move back and forth, they do not there to get close to his horns, they do not dare to get into its field of vision because every time they do he reacts and tries to trash them.
Every now and then one lion get bolder but soon reatreats. The buffalo cries, a loud bellowing, a disperate one, and then another after some minutes, and then another again after some more minutes, there is pain and fear in that sound.
The time passes, minute after minute the agony goes on, fifteen, thirty, forty minutes and more, now the eye are slowly changing color, from pitch black they become dark green, oil color, the light is fading, the eyes get paler and paler, the head lower and lower till the last bit of life is gone and the eyes are sparkless….