Saw the 5th!

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July 20th 2008
Published: July 20th 2008
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Blurry LeopardBlurry LeopardBlurry Leopard

Darn these new fangled cameras!
From Matt- Last night we went on a quest for the leopard. (not a jaguar as we said in the last blog) We just passed by all the other critters we had seen before. We found tracks of a mating pair and there were several trackers going through the bush helping. The mating pair were being very discreet! Close to dark we got a call on the radio that a leopard had been spotted several km from where we were, so we took off at breakneck speed bouncing all over the road. We slowed as we got closer and sure enough we came upon a lone male leopard! He came within about 10 feet of our vehicle and the camera was snapping away. Unfortunately I had the wrong settings on the camera! Darn these new fangled gadgets anyway! Didn't matter! Just seeing a leopard that close was mind blowing.
5 for 5 RULES !
Got up this morning at 4:30 to catch the sunrise from a hot air baloon. No Go. Wind did not cooperate. Really was a heart breaker for Rush. I think we are going to try again tomorrow.
Just a few minutes ago Rush and I
Thirsty giraffeThirsty giraffeThirsty giraffe

At the watering hole just behind our "cabin".
were commenting that there was not much going on at the water hole just behind our "cabin" when out of the brush came a giraffe! An old male. Absolutely beatiful!! He look around as Rush and I headed for the cameras. The giraffe was kind enough to wait around and we got lots of great pics. Even drinking from the hole. How graceful. He stuck around for about 10 minutes took a nibble from a nearby tree and the ambled away into the brush!
I believe that we will be the only people on the animal drive this evening so it's up to us to decide what we want to look for. We are being treated like royalty here and I would highly reccomend this place to any one. Thornybush Game Reserve is the place. Monwana Lodge is the best. and we don't get a discount for saying this.

From Rush - We saw three brother Chettahs today and last night we got to see the leopard! The cheetahs were marking their teritory. Before they marked they tried to catch some impala but they couldn't catch it. When we saw started heading back we saw a mother warthog with two of her babies. Right now as we are blogging, warthogs, monkeys and nyalas are moving around the lodge. It is awesome. The monkeys come during the middle of the day and if you leave your window or door open they will come in and destroy your cabin. They are cute but very mean. There have been waterbucks around the water hole outside the camp. They keep on getting disturbed by something hidden in the brush on the far side of the opening. We are about to have high tea before we go on our evening animal drive. Thats all I have to say but dad is going to say lots of things. BYE !!!!!

From Vance - a must do for anyone inclined to viewing wildlife....looking at a warthog as i look out the window....tried the balloon go, but did see a pregnant cheetah on the way....took a nap today, first one all trip.....rush has been feeding the myalas by hand at the lodge, i think he has made some friends, he picks the leaves they cannot reach and feeds them by hand....we have some great pics and hope to be able to post them soon, if not we will put some together when we get inclined to come on home and skip paris, but the louvre sounds too incredible....the place we are staying has practiced good procedures over the years where you can approach the animals without getting too close, but they seem not to notice us and go on about their business, so it is very unique, not what i expected... a very close and personal experience, i highly recommend it.....rush is an incredible travel mate and he and matt are doing some great bonding....all is good, we see you soon...........

Additional photos below
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A Zeal of Zebras

20th July 2008

Sorry about the balloon ride, hope ya'll get to do that tomarrow. I hope Rush can still remember the animal names when he gets home so he can show me the pics and give me the right names. Good luck on your ride tonite, hope you see lots. Counting down the days, Willie and Jett
28th July 2008

Matt, You are so lucky. As many times as I have been to Africa I have never been able to see a leopard. I love reading about your adventures.

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