Posted by: tim ellis | December 30, 2012

Thursday 25th October 2012

Amorous Leopards

We can actually see the sun this morning! This is almost more exciting than the animals, until we find a pair of leopards together. The male is Mvula (“Stormy Weather”), the father of Wabayiza, the leopard we saw yesterday. The female is Ntima, who is obviously determined he will be the father of her next cubs. Leopard mating is brief but frequent! Apparently courtship can last for 4 days with mating occurring every 20 minutes and lasting about 5 seconds. We leave the happy couple to it and go for coffee.

Amorous Leopards

We subsequently get a brief glimpse of last nights lioness, Gogo, she still appears to be alone but is the other side of some fairly thick undergrowth, so we leave her be.

Back to camp to pack our bags and get breakfast while we wait for the minibus that will take us to the airport. We drop Leon off on the way through Nelspruit and things proceed smoothly until we are about 70 km from Johannesburg when we are pulled up for speeding, and then a bit further on where the driver decides to challenge Richard and Anton for the off-roading challenge when he accidentally ends up in an exit lane, so drives back up the verge to cross back into the correct lane.

Despite these diversions, we arrive at the airport in plenty of time, and to our surprise we are able to check straight in and go straight through to the delights of the extensive duty free shopping until it is time to board. This seems to go much smoother than in London, and I have an aisle seat right from the start this time.

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