Our final day at Ngala Safari Lodge finally came to an end and we had to say goodbye to all the amazing staff at the lodge and to promise to return to this peaceful haven. On guide for the three days had been Barney and his tracker was called Tonight and their knowledge of the bush and animals was astounding and no questions went unanswered. On our last evening drive we had a big surprise. Our stop for sundowners was not the usual drinks from a small table at the back of the game vehicle but a “bar in the bush” with the best pink gin and tonic I have had. I think the photo says it all. On our drive that night were went back to find the male leopard and he was still with the kill but was now resting under the tree and for company he had a hyena lurking in the background hoping for some of the remaining kill if only it would fall to the ground. The rest of the night drive had us viewing rhino and buffalo before returning to the lodge only to find over 200 buffalo drinking at the water hole in front of the lodge. The noise and smell was amazing. On our last morning drive we sat watching four week old hyena cubs with their mother at their den. The cubs at this stage of their life are black and only start to change colour and get their spots at around six months of age and like all babies just want to feed, sleep, play and explore. There were other young cubs at the den but these must have been over six months old as they had already changed colour and now looked liked hyenas. This pair were much more boisterous, running and playing around the area. An interesting fact is that if both cubs are female at birth the stronger of the two will kill her sister at around 7 to 10 days to remove any competition so we know that the two sets of cubs we were watching were brother and sister.
We also came across a pair of honey badgers, a rare sight and while the badgers did not hang around we had a very good sighting and it was so unexpected. The rest of the morning was very quiet but the final large breeding herd of elephants with a number of young ones, sure made up for that. The African bush is magical and it was so hard to leave but our next stop is the Chobe River in Botswana so we have not left the bush yet.