Bundu Bashing in the middle of nowhere in particular
While tracking one lucky group even saw Spot and were able to watch her for 40 minutes as she climbed some rocks and lay down to clean her paws and sun herself. Of course the next group wanted to see her as well and so we set out to track her again, but while we were focussed on the signal coming from up the valley we heard a distress cry of a klipspringer from the mountain on our left and realised we had just heard a leopard making a kill.
The next day we set out to find a kill that Spot had made earlier in the year. We handed the GPS over to one of the boys and told him to take us to that point, much to the horror of his friends who were convinced he’d get us lost. Determined to prove them wrong and staring fixedly at the arrow on the GPS he led us straight over a rocky outcrop and through a riverbed right to the kill site which he quickly found in the thick reeds. He looked quite proud of himself when he crawled out of the bushes carrying a leg bone and his companions looked suitably impressed as well.
In search of a kill site with a very nervous guide
Gingerly holding the remains of a klipspringer
Apart from the main aims of setting up the traps we also showed the boys some interesting spoor (including honeybadger and fresh leopard!) and explained to them how to identify these tracks and age them. Quinton caught scorpions and rock agamas for the boys to look at up close before releasing them again to scuttle off looking quite indignant. On one hike we were distracted for some time trying to track a puff adder. We didn’t find him but it was very entertaining watching 13 teenagers creeping carefully through the bush so as not to step on the snake.
Examining the belly of a scorpion
A honeybadger track on the road
Quite apart from all the jokes and funny anecdotes it is very rewarding to see the excitement in the group at the sighting of a leopard or the intense silence of normally rowdy boys while listening for the sounds of a kill being dragged and we consider it a job well done when originally disinterested teenagers start to ask questions with that child like delight that nature brings.
The first photo on the new camera trap of the boys who set it up