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The_Norwegian

The quest for the spotted ghost of the dark

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The_Norwegian

 

Perhaps I am of very unpatient nature, maybe I want it all at once, maybe I am just plain crazy, but the dream of seeing a spotted cat has materialized in this, and you are invited to come along to see if the dream comes true!

As a indivdual fairly recently bitten by the bug that is Africa and her endless beauti, and with only two trips under my belt thus far that saw me travel to Namibia both times, with endless great sightings, and red-glowing memorycards throughout, something has evaded me and is left to be desired. The elusive leopard. Namibia is hit or miss when it comes to leopard i have come to understand, understanable given the vastness of the areas both they, the cats,  and we, as safari-goers, travel. And I dont complain, don`t misunderstand me, not at all, I have been gobsmacked both trips, but this thought of seeing a leopard comes creeping back from the back of my head.

In a «weak moment» early this summer, I sent the mail to a tour-operator with the magic words «sign me up!»

 

So, with leopard beeing the no1 priority, where do one go to raise the odds of seeing one or more? There are a few places famous for good leopard-sightings, but rumor has it that the number 1 spot, no pun intended, for seeing and photographing these wonderful cats, is the Sabi sands. (And having watched the youtube/wildearth 2x daily livestream SafariLive for a few years, I believe the rumors to be true)

There are a few well renowned photo-tour operators in the sands, I travel with one called Tusk photo, operating out of a couple of areas in the sands, my trip will see me travel to Elephant plains. Oh, and also, this trip is my own gift to myself for my 40th birthday ? I mean, do i really need more reasons to go on safari than these? ?

I found a really good deal on flights, with a combo of lufthansa/SAA/SAS via munich outwards and London back again. However, from Jo`burg to Hoedspruit, I booked with cemair, so i will have to collect my bag and check it in again, but i don`t mind, and i have plenty of time. Also, I am travelling alone this time, meeting the rest of the group at the lodge itself, so I travel the way I enjoy it the most, by the beat of my own drum. The first safariday is the 10th, I will travel from norway and arrive in Hoedspruit on the 9th, giving me an extra half a day and a night to rest up before the safari itself start. I have booked a room in a place called wild don inn, located in the Hoedspruit wildlife estate, so I am also excited about that, supposed to be a good area for birds and general wildlife!

 

I had planned to post this introduction before i left home, but my brain took a detour, but is now back on track ;-) I arrived earlier today at the wild dog inn, not done much else then shower, eat a little and catch up on some sleep after the long jorney. It`s incredbly nice to be back in Africa! Can`t wait for tomorrow for the safari itself to start! 

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lmSA84

Good luck @The_Norwegian - here's hoping you find your cat!

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pomkiwi

A nice African sunset to welcome you back! Good luck :)

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Ritsgaai

May every one of your dreams for this trip materializes... during day light and the darkness of the night. :D

Looking forward to read your updates.

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Atravelynn

Happy 40th.  I hope you unwrap a spotted cat for your birthday.  You chose the right location for the hunt.

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shazdwn

Happy birthday - looking forward to following along on the search for the elusive polka dot feline.

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Hads

Happy 40th @The_Norwegian.

Looking forward to your report.

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The_Norwegian

Hello everybody, and good evening from the sabi sands! Thanks for all your best wishes on both my upcoming birthday and on luck with the leopards ???? well, you'll have to wait until i get home for the report, but..... ???

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xelas

That is some b'day present! And congratulations also from my side. So, no need to wish you good luck with leopards, eh?! Looking forward to see them all.

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The_Norwegian
40 minutes ago, xelas said:

That is some b'day present! And congratulations also from my side. So, no need to wish you good luck with leopards, eh?! Looking forward to see them all.

Thanks a lot xelas! Leopards? wait, what leopards?  I haven`t seen any.. ;-) 

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xelas

Of course you didn't ... all you see was the viewfinder of your camera :D

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The_Norwegian

:rolleyes::D did spend some time at the hyenaden though, that was amazing. Love hyenas, and those cubs are just utterly adorable and cute :)

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xelas

Now you are really doing your best to tease us, @The_Norwegian :huh:!

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Atravelynn

Did you take those teaser shots knowing what the narrative of this report would be?  You had it all planned out!

 

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Peter Connan

Happy birthday!

 

Tusk have some really excellent guides so I know this will be a great trip which one did you get to go with?

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The_Norwegian
4 hours ago, Atravelynn said:

Did you take those teaser shots knowing what the narrative of this report would be?  You had it all planned out!

 

???? I don't know what you mean, teaser shots? ?? ?? Peter Connan, Dawie is hosting this tour, really awesome guy! 

Edited by The_Norwegian

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The_Norwegian

I like taking pictures of dense vegetation ??

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CDL111

Happy birthday @The_Norwegian, is that a lion's head in the dense vegetation photo?

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The_Norwegian
14 minutes ago, CDL111 said:

Happy birthday @The_Norwegian, is that a lion's head in the dense vegetation photo?

Thx CDL111 :-) my best ever! hmm, I`m not sure! 

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The_Norwegian

Enough with the teasin, ey? :-) Surely we have had many many amazing, awesome spotted sightings already, this place is something else when it comes to leopards, that is for sure! Couldn`t be happier, and I`m only halfway through!

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Atravelynn

Vegetation, yeah, that's it.  Only some leaves and twigs and stuff.  Nothing else to see.

 

It did not take long for the birthday leopard to appear.  The first of many it seems.

Edited by Atravelynn

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The_Norwegian
On 11/13/2018 at 6:33 PM, Atravelynn said:

Vegetation, yeah, that's it.  Only some leaves and twigs and stuff.  Nothing else to see.

 

It did not take long for the birthday leopard to appear.  The first of many it seems.

Yes, isn`t vegetation just the best? ;-) No, it did not take long at all, we actually was only 30 minutes into the first gamedrive before the first leopardsighting of the trip! And yes, there has been quite a few since! You will have to wait until I get home before I post some pictures, not the best of internet here in the bush, although better than Namibia ;-) 

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xelas
On 11/13/2018 at 9:41 AM, The_Norwegian said:

I like taking pictures of dense vegetation ??

 

And perfectly focused, with nicely blurred background, that avoid unneccesary distractions for viewer :D

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The_Norwegian
20 hours ago, xelas said:

 

And perfectly focused, with nicely blurred background, that avoid unneccesary distractions for viewer :D

I know, right? ?? I am very considerate of the viewers ??

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The_Norwegian

So, i woke up to a leopard on my deck this morning... ?? 

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