Juma was telling me about the movements of Grevy’s during different seasons when we heard the loud crack of wood somewhere in the thick bush ahead. He stopped and was silent. We heard another branch snap and he turned around and mouthed the word “elephant!” We spun on our heels, retreated back a bit, and chose a new path around the unseen elephant. The last thing we wanted was to stumble upon an unsuspecting elephant in the thick thorn bushes.
The Leopard Project is in the Limpopo Heartland situated in southern Africa. The Heartland is spread over three countries: Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. The work area chosen for the project is in the Kruger National Park and surrounding areas/communities in South Africa and Mozambique. For starts, the project is running at the N’wanetsi Concession (Popularly known as Singita Kruger National Park).
I’m in a town called Wamba at the foot of the Mathews Range. This is the site of Dr. Paul Muoria’s research on endangered Grevy’s zebras, and I’ll be visiting him for the next few days. Camp is basic but comfortable. Muroia shares it with Earth Watch, which brings volunteers out to the field to aid scientists with their research for short periods.
Yesterday we arrived in Shaba National Reserve just past nightfall. I always enjoy arriving at a place at night. You hear sounds around you – maybe a river running, palm fronds in the wind. The next morning you get to step out of your room to find what was behind the darkness the night before. My first sight this morning was the Ewaso Nyiro river only a few steps from my room.