4:45am: Wake up and take a shower (I’m extremely grumpy* at this stage).
5:00am: Still grumpy, I get in to the research car with my backpack and laptop bag and follow the bus from Shishangane (Staff Village) to the lodge (Singita Kruger National Park).
Contents of the backpack:
Samburu National Reserve has not had lion cubs since May 2006. This was a major concern considering the lion population here has been declining, according to lion researcher and AWF Charlotte Fellow, Shivani Bhalla.
But in a place full of surprises, we received the good news that three new lion cubs had been found in the reserve.
The use of camera traps has proven to be a useful way to get an idea of leopard activities in the N’wanetsi Concession. I've been able to capture good quality photographs were taken during the survey. There were 20 leopard photographs taken during the study and about 13 individuals. However, because we only have one camera per station it is difficult to say this with confidence.
One thing is certain: when you're in the bush, you never know what's going to happen next.
After eight months of writing and re-writing the proposal, I am pleased to say that the study was finally given the green light by the South African National Parks (SANParks) Scientific Services (Prior to this I was allowed to use camera traps to do some monitoring while I waited for the verdict from the Scientific Services).