I was positive that I was going to get my 50th encounter this morning. It was certainly a promising start, the 49th with a pair of buffalo cows came so easily and early in the morning walk. It never came and it was back to camp.
Whenever I did get to my landmark I wanted it to be a decent encounter rather than a streaky edge through the slips. Following up on impala and vervet alarm calls to find a leopard would be the dream, walking passed a buffalo to have it jump out behind me would be unsatisfactory. When the 50 did come I imagined holding my rifle a loft to acknowledge the applause of the group. I am only kidding of course… I wouldn’t expect the applause. (Now that I’ve had 50 encounters with potentially dangerous game I can be assessed as a lead guide. Probably won’t but myself forward for another month or so. Want to get as much experience as possible).
After brunch it was time to say goodbye to the group that was Pafuri Trails no. 5. Such a great bunch, I had lots of fun and we had some incredible sightings. It felt very weird with a new group coming in the afternoon. Before they arrived it felt as if I was preparing to cheat on the last group with the next.
In the afternoon encounters number 50 and 51 came. I didn’t raise my rifle and I was disappointed the last group weren’t around to share my moment. The good news it wasn’t a streaky edge, instead it was a nice encounter with a big buffalo breeding herd that I spotted to our north-east. We made our approach to 50 metres and then retreated without the buffalo ever knowing we were there. Text book.