At Close Quarters



Yesterday afternoon it was very hot when we headed out for drive. We planned to assist in locating the Styx pride, whom we would check back in with later in the afternoon once it had cooled down. We soon located the lions and then headed off to see what else we could find. We found tracks of a female leopard and began the tracking process. The tracks were soon joined by another set of tracks of a leopard cub. It must have been Shadow and her cub.

We followed the tracks as she moved around the the south western corner of Djuma but we were unsuccessful in locating her and headed back towards the lions. Our timing was good as the lions were becoming active. The Styx lion cubs are the smallest of the lion cubs we have seen thus far and are still quite playful. The cubs and their moms provided us with a few good photographic opportunities as we stayed with them for more than half an hour and were the only vehicles at the sighting.

After we had spent some good time with the lions, we headed to 2nd Rock for our final sun-downers with our current group of guests. On our one side we had the huge moon rising, while on our other side, we were treated to a fantastic sunset. Our guides reckon it was one of the most beautiful sunsets they have seen this year. It was an exceptional way to spend the last evening with our current group of guests. Everyone used their wide angle lenses to get some shots of the beautiful scene whilst reminiscing of the past 4 days gone by. We then headed back to the lodge for a traditional barbecue/braai and plan on following up on Shadow and her cub in the morning.

Our last morning drive with our current group of guests started and we immediately followed up on Shadow her cub. We found her tracks and followed them eagerly. Shadow had done a large loop and eventually her tracks crossed our southern boundary. We decided to head east and search for another leopard nearby. Our tracker found some tracks of a male leopard and we followed up. When the tracks went into a block, our tracker followed and found young male leopard Hosana up a tree with an impala kill.

We headed around to the other side of the tree and photographed Hosana as he lay in the tree with his kill. He then descended the tree and went into the drainage line. He occasionally looked longingly up at his kill which provided us with great photographic opportunities. We spent a long time with him, hoping he would jump back up into the tree but unfortunately, he did not oblige. After Hosana decided to fall asleep in the shade, we headed for a coffee break and watched some elephants come down to a waterhole for a drink. We then headed back to the lodge for brunch. Half of our guests are leaving this morning and we will be joined by another group of guests this afternoon for our second Big Cat Photo Safari.


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