See what our safari expert Sophie says about Puku:
I was welcomed by the wonderful Evidence. Such a cool guy. He went though his welcoming briefing and I was then shown my room. The furthest possible room on the camp. The room was beautiful; stunning huge queen sized bed, adorned with the necessary mosquito net – my legs have taken a proper beating from these mozzies! An outside shower, a huge bath and a neat deck area equipped with a day bed. Bliss.
I met back at 3.30 for a spot of tea on the extension deck of the main area. Beautifully laid out tea and cakes – I’m having to stay off the cakes at tea time as well as elevenses, I feel and most probably look like I have eaten another human being!
I met Klaus, the only other guest. A lovely German guy, who had a serious passion for photography. I mean his camera was huge! He had extra rests that he could attach to the poles on the game truck so he could get more purchase to put his extra large camera on to snap a photo.
The game drive began, very sedate. We spotted a group of kudu just outside camp and then came across a group of baboon who were being very vocal and trying to impress a lone female. We then spotted the lilac breasted roller, Botswana’s national bird. I finally managed to see why it is called a roller too. To attract a mate, the male bird circles higher and higher and higher, he then begins to free fall, at the very last minute opening his wings and rocking or rolling side to side to display the blue underside of his wings and his lilac chest. All to show off.
The landscape around Puku Ridge is up there with my love for the area around Sausage Tree. It’s beautiful. Not a huge fan of the close set thickets where you can’t see anything, I know come August it would have mostly cleared, but it makes me feel claustrophobic.
We then came across a male lion just waking up from snoozing under a bush. We watched him do his daily ablutions before he got up, stretched, and started wandering off towards the river. We followed him for a while, he had not a care in the world there was a vehicle following him. He was very chilled. Every couple of metres he would stop to mark his territory, he was doing the rounds of ensuring others knew this was his patch and no one else’s.
We then decided to leave him to his own business as he sauntered off into the distance.
The sun was beginning to set when we reached the top of the Puku hill. In front of us were a giraffe and a couple of elephant browsing in the trees. We turned round a bend and there was the most wonderful sight. Lanterns adorned the edge of a clearing, along with a small table with delicious nibbles and an array of different types of drinks. To top it off there was already a pre poured glass of ‘leopard juice’ or champagne to you and I! Evidence called it leopard juice as it apparently gives you the ability to see leopard… I’ll let you know if we did or not later…!
It was such a gorgeous sight, with the sun just going down in the distance and the colours of the sky a mix of oranges, purples and pinks. Any minute now I was almost expecting Elton John to walk round the corner along with the cast of the lion king. I mean if I was going to have any complaints that would be the only thing, otherwise, hands down, this was the best sundowner I have had yet.
After we had had a gossip about questions guides get from guests who have no clue about African wildlife – one being, do giraffe hunt in packs……? We climbed back into the truck and went out in search of night life.
It’s fair to say, Evidence had been telling the truth about leopard juice, because sure enough, 10 minutes into the drive we bumped into one as we turned a corner. A beautiful young female leopard, walking directly at us and straight past our vehicle.
Quick turn around in my room and then came back for a candle lit supper which was all laid out on the deck, under the Tamarind trees. For starters I had mushroom soup, main course was such a delicious beef and butternut puréed mash with vegetables wrapped in spinach leaves. Finishing off with cheese.
Excellent, tea had arrived!
I sat like lady muck in my queen sized bed drinking my tea, watching the colours change outside as the sun began to emerge.
Bags packed – again – I arrived on the main deck for breakfast with the sun just peeping its head above the trees in the distance.
Stunningly presented breakfast, as always, granolas, continental ham and cheese, yoghurt and even peanut butter! Oh, and to top it off, just as I was saying my goodbyes, Evidence spotted a Hyena running off in the distance! I finally saw one, albeit from quite far away, but beggars can’t be choosers.