A success story for rhino and Leopard
Leopard launched with one employee and tailor-made holidays to one country, South Africa, in 2019. Today the team has expanded to six and we offer travel to fifteen countries in Africa. This is something to celebrate! Especially given the pause Covid gave to travel for two years.
In April, the Leopard team travelled from all four corners of the country for a workshop and strategy session. Then we (minus one valued member) headed to one of South Africa’s most beautiful areas – the Waterberg. We stayed at a newly opened lodge, owned by a local businesswoman. As much as we love planning holidays for our clients, it was great to unwind together on safari instead.
We enjoyed outstanding hospitality from the staff at Bontle Lodge, spotted birds like the brightly coloured malachite kingfisher, the brilliantly blue glossy starling, the helmeted shrike and red-billed hoopoe, as well as zebra, giraffe, cheetah and buffalo. On our first evening game drive, before we had even stopped for sundowners we had seen very healthy numbers of rhino, which in addition to Leopard’s growth as a company was another really good reason to celebrate! This was particularly exciting for me because I didn’t see a single rhino on a trip to Kruger National Park last year with my parents and children, and had been feeling rather depressed about the survival of the species. As the sun was slipping over the horizon that evening, we stopped about 150m from a rhino and her calf that continued to graze unperturbed. This was a very special experience, sipping sundowners and watching these magnificent creatures.
Eagle-eyed Helen (in charge of operations at Leopard) spotted an elephant from the lodge pool, one afternoon. We all rushed to the edge of the property and caught a glimpse of a trunk spraying river water and then the enormous beast disappeared into the forest. I love sightings like these, where you are tantalised by the knowledge that an animal is near, but you don’t succeed in seeing it fully. It may be frustrating, but it is part of the safari experience. Success in seeing animals is never guaranteed much like success in life is never guaranteed, but there’s always hope and the adventure of discovery.
Here’s to seeing many rhinos and enjoying many holidays in your life!
P.S. If you’d like to witness rhinos in their natural habitat in the African bush, we’d love to craft a tailored itinerary to suit your needs.
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