African Safari–journey to the backside of beyond

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Text & Photography by Thomas C. Wilmer

“Shhh…Listen! Up there in the tree.”

Our naturalist guide, Dave Luck, points skyward, “See the vervet monkey? His call is definitely warning others of a leopard in close vicinity.”

Luck compliments us on our incredible good fortune with animal encounters and a second later Luck abruptly asks our local Botswanan guide, Kenneth Liwena, to stop the Land Rover. We suspect that Luck is pulling our leg about his savvy monkey-communication skills. But, a ten-yard detour through the bush delivers us eye-to-eye with a semi-somnambulant leopard, napping after a feast of gazelle. “Unbelievable” and “incredible” are the oft-repeated mantras of our surreal African safari adventure.