Our final early morning drive before we say goodbye to Botswana and once again we were not disappointed.  The early part of the morning was very quiet, it was cold and there was a breeze blowing and Max, our guide explained that animals become very skittish when there is wind around as the noice of the wind diminishes their ability to hear and they become vulnerable.  Also it was still very cold so a lot of animals were still taking shelter in the thick bushes.  We were seeing lots of impalas but nothing else and even the birds were still on their branches and not taking flight.

In passing someone in the group said that they wanted to see leopard and another person wanted to see zebras, both of which had avoided us so far.   As the morning warmed up and we had been in the park for some time Max found leopard footprints and we followed these and there under a bush was a leopard.  We could not see him very well but Max told us to be patient as he was sure the leopard would move and some 10 minutes later this young male walked out into the open and we had a wonderful sighting.  The leopard moved very slowly and we were able to follow him for a little while through an open patch of ground before he disappeared under another a large bush.  

It does not matter how many times I have seen these magnificent cats, it is always such a thrill when another one is sighted, and I know the group was also thrilled.  

Max advised us that the zebras were only to be found on the open plains of the park and that we would have to travel to see them which we were all happy to do.  It took around an hour of travelling on sandy tracks bumping up and down before we came to open plans and the zebras.  There were hundreds of them on the open plains by the river, I have never seen them in such numbers other than in Kenya.  As you looked down over the plains all you could see were zebras stretched out over a wide area grazing on the grass or drinking at the river.   

What a great way to finish our morning drive and what a privilege it has been, not only to sit and watch this group of zebras but to have seen lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, giraffes, sable, mongoose, jackals, warthogs, hyenas, just to mention a few and all our featured friends, during our travels in Botswana and South Africa.

It is time to say goodbye to the last of my guests as they fly back home this evening.  What an extraordinary  experience we have had these last three weeks and what memories we will take with us of Southern Africa for the rest of our lives. 

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