Then after few kilometers Festo spotted a leopard on tree, this time just a second before I did, I would have seen it but again one point for Festo. The leopard was stunning, on a sausage tree with the light of early morning shining all over while a collared palm trush wandered around. It was relaxed and allowed us to stay as long as we wished... The sun playing into his hazel eyes was special.
At the bridge a lioness walked up from the water disappearing into the combretum woodland, third point for Festo, I would have seen it but some seconds later.... this is when I started thinking I had left my eyes in camp, theory that came more convincing when Festo spotted three lions on the road before me, theory that was definitely confirmed when again he got the 5th point of the day spotting ten lions the other side of the ruaha river.... We got also other ten lions far far away in the hills but we were told by Owen, nontheless Festo 5, Pietro 0.... Anyway it was a great day but, man-o-man, better I don't forget my eyes again tomorrow.
He was a superb creature, lean and muscular, massive and elegant...
Owen found the pride of ten the other side of the river but definitely not i a hunting mood, we got also lions at the bridge on the mwagusi, they were very full. One impala ewe walked unaware less then three meters from a lioness without seeing her, when the herbivore was just in front of the cat, it even turned to check us out before going in the river bed, she never saw the lioness and the lioness did not even move.... unbelievable.
Other three lions were at breakfast point but sound asleep.
In the afternoon we were blessed with great hyena's show. The pups at the den were out and in a very playful mood, theyc came and went from the car, coming closer then 2 mtrs out of curiosity, the went on bitin branches and twigs, fighting betwen them and running around, really special. They are so cute and so weird in a way with their sloppy backs and spotted coates, but so full of energy.
I night with friends out of camp, was exactly what I needed and that place really rocks.
Was not proper full moon but the moonlight still casted proper shadows.
We laughed, we drank, we enjoyed life till 3 in the morning.
A mattress and a blanket on a tall rock overlooking all the surrounding, silver light from the moon making every detail alive, my roof the milky way, leopards calling drifted me into sleeping.
The first time I saw them together in Timbavati was obvious they would have gone far. I am super happy for them.
In the bush you forge friendship much faster then you do in normal life... and Frenchie is the perfect example, we worked together for a short period of time, walking in Timbavati and Klaserie but that time was enough to built a strong and long lasting bond. He is great and has a great potential as a guide... sighting wie as good as usual, 4 times lions and a cheetah. Pink Jacarandas are in wasome blossom. Stunning Ruaha.
To our surprise she does not stop but start trotting along the river bank followed by a second female and obviously by us. She is blatantly in the open and she does not care of all the impalas barking, the other one keeps peering in the river bed, she follows the leader and then deviate some ten meters to come back after some minutes.
They walk for more then one km and then the reach a thicker area, they slow down and disppear into the bush. We go around and wait, some minutes later we hear lions growling... they are eating... we found them soon, all ten with what remains of a impala ewe.
We watch them for a while and when we are ready to leave, Mapalala from his car spots a leopard way up on a tre over where the lions were feeding half an hou before. The spotteid cat soon climbs down and disappears but gives us a precise clue of what happened.
Forget the mighty hunting lions ,these guys today were nothing more then thieves.
Morning with cheetahs and lions, the spotted cubs spoiled their mother's hunt as usual and as usual again the lions were sleeping.
We had small things as our treat, oxpeckers on zebras, dik diks and many other little sightings. In the afternoon we went out also with Ale and we found other sleeping lions but she was super happy because alone she spotted two Giant eagle owls in the canopy of a rain tree...and owls are her favourites.
He was relxing under a baobab and then started walking along the drainage line, twice he tried impalas, beautiful run, beautiful show but twice he missed, zero kills.
We stayed with him one good hour and went back for lunch.
Eventually when it was almost dark it climbed down and disappeared in the bush. After few minutes a banded moongose bolted out followed by the spotted hunter, the moongoose made it but just for a matter of centimeters.... so the total of today was 3 hunts 0 kills.... or actually zero skills.