I had arrived back from my morning game drive and after breakfast began the daily chores of a camp manager. Before I knew it, it was time for a quick shower, followed by afternoon tea and the evening game drive. I showered, grabbed my bag, put it in my vehicle and went down to tea.After a slice of cake and a glass of iced tea, I headed out with my guests.
We quickly came upon Malika, a leopardess that I knew very well. The other guides who had seen her that morning said she had a cub with her, the first time anyone had seen her with the youngster since it had been born.
We waited patiently with Malika in the hope that the cub would appear, but after an hour or so we decided to take a break and enjoy some refreshments. Another vehicle said they would stay behind and let me know if anything developed.
After our sundowners on the banks of the Luangwa, we climbed back into the vehicle and re-joined the sighting. After a few minutes, Malika climbed down from the tree in which she was resting and began to move.
We followed her and after a few minutes she was joined by her cub who came running out from the bushes to greet her mother.
It was a wonderful scene. Mother and cub reunited. The cub was visibly delighted to see her mother. The sound of shutters clicking away was music to my ears as I knew my guests were getting some fantastic shots. As was I.
Then, a little piece of magic happend.
Malika sat down and the cub stood on her hind legs and reached up to playfully grab the face of mom. cue the burst of shutters.
I could hear my guests’ cameras burst into action and I was brimming with excitement. Then in unison, both mother and cub turned their heads and looked directly at us. As if this couldn’t get any better, I thought to myself.
I took my shot…….NOTHING happened.
I went again.
In a panic I tried again but the same silence from my camera greeted me. In a frenzy, I looked down at my screen and saw the words “Card Full”. I looked up in disbelief just as I saw the two leopards walking away into the night.
I learned a very valuable lesson that night. Always make sure you have enough space on your cards before heading out into the field.
You never know when something magical will happen and you don’t want to be the person who missed the shot because they ran out of space on their card.
Take it from me.
It is not a nice feeling.
Till next time,
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