Thursday, 31st May DAY 14

We leave Shish at 6am and travel through the grasslands shrouded in wintery, morning mist. This always gives beautiful sunrises as the golden sun breaks through.

Our camp neighbours have told us of three leopard cubs north of Ngotso Dam (H1-4) where their mother has hidden them in a den amongst the roots of a tree in the bank of a stream. They are unfortunately many attendant cars and I am unable to get a clear view of the opening of the den. After trimming away some leaves and twigs I do make a hole through a bush and hope that the cubs will show themselves.

I am in luck as I manage to take a couple of shots but the view is very restricted.

The mother remains hidden in the bush above the bank but because I am not partial to jostling crowds we decide to leave.

Travelling back we come upon a small cluster of cars who point out to us another leopard sleeping in the shade only 10m off the road. But we carry on, again coincidentally meeting Warren in the Singita Quantum at the Satara entrance turnoff.

Today is a pre-frontal hotty. Leaving Renette in the air-conned caravan I shoot off to Orpen (H7) so that I can maintain coms with the outside world – a ridiculous state of affairs for the second biggest camp in SA’s premier tourist destination. I wonder what Singita would say if they could read the utter rubbish written by the Sanparks officials in response to my letters of complaint. Which of course is the way of these dysfunctional SOE’s.

For lunch we decide to be lazy and rather sample the wares of Tindhlovu restaurant. Tindhlovu has now taken over most of the restaurants in the Kruger camps which I suppose is better than nothing. After last night’s meal at Singita, the contrast could not be more stark. We had to ask three times for service, the last time quite forcefully. A morose, grubby waitress then shambles up and with grimy cloth wipes the table top, lips pouting unhappily all the time. My hamburger finally arrives and the top half is icy cold and the bottom warm. But it didn’t cost me R25,000 so I suppose I must be happy and six hours later I have had not warnings of inner turmoil.

So we are settling down for our last night at glorious Satara and we do hope that the leopards are tomorrow on show.