FROM TREVOR MCCALL-PEAT & VILLIERS STEYN
Yesterday afternoon we left the lodge and headed straight to a nearby pan to see if there were any animals at the water. We found 3 large buffalo bulls standing around while some ox-peckers danced on their backs. We captured some character filled images of the large but aged herbivores before making our way to a nearby hyena den.
We arrived at the den to find it active. There was one adult female and one 6-8 month old cub at the den. The cub was very curious and came right up to the vehicle to check us out between attempting to nurse from mom (who was having none of it). This was a fantastic experience for our guests and they managed to grab a few images of the two animals.
We then decided to head back towards the area we had seen the leopard kill in the morning. Between the rangers, trackers and our guides, and with the help of another ranger from a different lodge, we now believe that Gijima Male had actually stolen the impala kill from another leopard yesterday morning. A nearby guide had seen Xongile very close to the kill site yesterday morning and we believe she killed the impala and lost the kill to Gijima.
We found Gijima at the impala carcass but, as usual, he was extremely shy and kept disappearing when we tried to get a closer look. We then decided to circle around the area in the hope of finding Xongile. We drove around for a while and just after we decided to find a spot for a drinks break, we found fresh female leopard tracks. We quickly followed the tracks and, soon thereafter, our Ranger, Rexon, spotted a leopard atop a termite mound… It was Xongile.
She was positioned perfectly at the very top of the mound and posed perfectly for our guests. She had managed to catch a squirrel and was busy dismantling the small creature before finishing off the small meal. The colours in the sky, as the sun set, were spectacular. Under the guidance of our ACQ Photographic Guides, everyone had ample time (close to an hour) to take some once in a lifetime images, to their heart’s content. A perfect end to another day on #BigCatPhotoSafari
This morning we woke up to an overcast and cool morning. We decided to explore the Torchwood property and headed towards the water points in the area. We arrived at a large granite outcrop called First Rock and our lucky stars were shining on us. Two large male lions from the Birmingham Coalition were sprawled out on the rock sleeping. From time to time the lions sat up and listened to the distant calls of some other lions.
We spent close to 90 amazing minutes with the two kings. The setting is somewhat of a photographer’s dream. The wide open space and the the soft light through the clouds, coupled with being able to shoot at eye level was incredible. The experience was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Time passed very quickly and we decided to have a quick coffee stop at twin dams before heading back to the lodge for brunch and Lightroom / editing sessions with our guests.
Our guests are on a high and we are excited for what the rest of their experience holds.