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….

Giovanni 17/06/12

 The air is crisp the sky still dark, Mars and Venus look at usa s we start the drive.
Is me and Festo like many other days, but this one is a day that does not have equals and never will.
We spotted easy lions, Grumpy and Brother walking in the open grassland the other side of Lulenga juu. The sun is jus rising over the horizon, the light gettino better by the minute. They are walking and then sitting and walking again shoulder to shoulder strenghtening a bond that is there since they were born.
Grumpy never changes, always has that mean challeging look on him but Brother is sweet.
Not far there are also the three big cubs, more or less one year old. The lay in the golden grass, few meters from us.
We drove away. The road was full of their spoors, after a km a stopped the car and went for a pee, climbed back the car and drove off towards mawe ya fisi. We did non find game in the way so we arrived there pretty fast, bush hyraxes were plenty but what drew my attention was a small, super small one, peering at us from the top of a big boulder.
But something was wrong, there was a terrible smell coming from very close, I moved the car some meters just to find that the stench was still there. Upon closer inspection the problem was revealed, when i stopped and got out of the car bifore I stepped ove a pile of  fresh lion’s scat with one foot.
As soon as i realized it I moved off and stopped a hndred meters further under a big baobab, went behind the car and starter cleaning my shoe. I was there with a shoe in my end and a stick in the other, busy cleaning when I received a phone call.
Manu called me from home, my sister Chiara was resting in an hospital room and he was looking for the first time at his first born, my nephew, Giovanni.
Tears had to be pushed back, it was difficult and even more difficult was to keep concentration for the rest of the drive…..
All the rest of the day is blurred by too many emotions..