It is always a great privilege to spend time out in the field and immerse yourself in nature, whether it be sitting in camp on your patio listening to the bush around you or out in the field watching animals go about their business, it is always special and something that we should never take for granted. But, with so much time spent in the bush, a single moment of magic amongst many is difficult to choose.
So what is this single moment of magic I'm referring to you might ask? Well have you ever had one of those moments, (and it doesn't have to be in the bush), where everything comes together right in front of you without you doing anything, or putting in very much effort at all? Well... this was one of those moments.
We found a cheetah on game drive late one afternoon in an open clearing. He was on a territorial patrol, marking certain bushes along the way. Whilst doing so, cheetahs often use termite mounds and fallen over trees to not only mark their territory but also as a vantage point to scan the area for any other predators or prey that may be near by.
We had been with this particular cheetah for about half an hour and the sun was starting to get lower and lower in the sky. Looking ahead, I saw a fallen over tree and, in discussing the options with the guests, made the call to drive up ahead of the cheetah in the hopes he would jump up onto this fallen over tree in time for us to see the sun setting behind him - silhouette style. It was a big call, but he was moving in the direction of the tree and, understanding cheetah behaviour, I thought we stood a decent chance of him jumping up and posing for us one last time before darkness set in.
We drove ahead, positioning the vehicle with the sun behind the fallen over tree and waited patiently...
He was moving slowly in our direction and the sun continued to set. It was a race against time, would we get to see him on the fallen over tree as the sunset? Would my plan work out? These are all questions rushing through my mind.
Well, this is about the time when as a guide you feel like a hero, for predicting the right behaviour.. the cheetah approached the tree, jumped up and posed absolutely perfectly! It was an incredible moment and even though it only lasted a minute or two, was a great way to end and incredible day out on safari.
A moment and a memory that my guests and I will carry with us for many years to come.
Until I share the next moment of magic with you,