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Looking for the Leopard ... and then this!

  • January 05, 2022 | Rhulani Safari Lodge

The sundowners is over. Night falls over the Madikwe Game Reserve. A cool wind is blowing in our faces while we spend the last moments in the bush on the open Landcruiser. Alasdair turns on the spotlight and - as he drives - lights the trees and bushes. This is the moment when we secretly hope to experience a last highlight of a safari day. A Leopard up there in the tree? But we hardly imagine what would happen next.

A Rock Python, seen at night on game drive

This is not a belt on the road

Alasdair brakes the vehicle a little abruptly. We don't even know why. He shines with the lamp on the earthy ground. “What is that?” he says. “It looks like someone has lost a trouser belt out here in the bush».

But it is not a belt. What lies there on the road is a beautiful Rock Python, about two meters long. Would you have thought that you could see such a big snake on a safari? “This is even better than a Leopard," says Alasdair, "and definitely a rarer experience."

Alasdair tells us: “The snake has a thickening in the middle part of its body. So it ate something shortly beforehand.”

Apparently, this one is a rather young animal. Rock pythons can get much bigger. These snakes are endangered species, but they are quite common here and seem to feel at home in the Madikwe Game Reserve.

On the vehicle we forget about the cold and the desire for a Leopard. Once again we are amazed at the surprises that the African bush comes up with every day.

It is a rather younng animal