BY TREVOR MCCALL-PEAT & VILLIERS STEYN
Yesterday afternoon we headed out in search of leopards and decided to follow up on some male leopard tracks that we had seen on the way home from our morning drive. They led us to a drainage line where our trackers got off the vehicle and went into the block to see if they could locate the leopard. Unfortunately, they walked into some buffalo and decided it was not safe to continue following the tracks.
We then headed northeast through the Milwati drainage line and had an early drinks break on 2nd rock. On the way we found two Bateleurs perched in a tree enjoying the late afternoon sun. While having drinks, we heard that a male leopard had been seen to the west of our position but was stationary in very thick vegetation. After drinks we headed straight there to try our luck.
We found Mvula, a large male leopard, in some long grass. By this time, night had fallen and this meant we could practice spotlight photography. Many of our guests had never attempted this and were eager to learn. Being able to spend as much time with Mvula as we needed meant that everyone was able to master spotlight shots and get some great images. We then headed home for dinner.
This morning we woke up to a very gusty morning, as a cold front was pushing up the country from the south west. Our plan was to try and locate one of the resident lion prides in the area.
We soon found fresh tracks of the Nkuhuma Pride and began the tracking process. About 30 minutes later we found the pride, 4 females and 6 cubs lying in a pile next to the road. They were keeping each other warm.
After the sun warmed them up they became active and started to groom each other and move about. This allowed us opportunities to get some great interaction shots and some shots of the cubs walking together.
After spending a good hour with the cats we decided that some hot coffee would be welcome and headed off to stretch our legs warm up. We then headed home for brunch and will be having a Lightroom editing session before we head out this afternoon in search of leopards.