day one - Spoilt for Wildlife
I always find extraordinary, Africa’s huge scope of unique locations and wildlife. When you have been on as many safaris as my family has, you wrongly start to believe that the landscapes of this continent can be pretty similar. While the behaviour of wildlife is always capable of surprising, even dumbfounding those viewing it, the location itself often takes a back seat. My parents and I had never been to the Kalahari and were expecting a typical desert scene with the fauna being elusive and spread thinly over a vast landscape. So on arrival, we were appropriately amazed by the quantity of wildlife we saw just on the drive to the camp alone. Having landed on the airstrip, you are met and greeted by your private guide and tracker in a shady shelter which social weavers have built an enormous nest into the roof and rafters. This was quite an experience as we enjoyed some light refreshments while the small hectic birds went on with their busy lives a mere metre above our heads. The social weaver nests are a common sight in the Kalahari, but they are never a tedious sight! Often you will come across trees that have lost huge branches or even split entirely down the middle due to the sheer weight of the nest being built in it. This doesn’t deter the birds though which lead lives dominated by nest maintenance. There is one nest in the reserve known to be over a 100 years old, kept going by generations of social weavers.
As we set off towards the camp, our guide did the usual check, asking if there was anything we especially wanted to see. We gave our usual response that we would be happy seeing any of the wildlife, but if possible we would love to see a cheetah. This was our main reason for coming here. Although we have visited locations where these iconic cats can be found, we had never been fortunate enough to see them. Thankfully this was about to change as we were in what must be one of the best locations for cheetah sightings!