FROM TREVOR MCCALL-PEAT & VILLIERS STEYN
It was extremely hot yesterday afternoon with temperatures into the mid 30s. Some of our guests headed to SafariLive to meet the crew and watch the countdown to the Live Drive. We then headed on drive and went to the north to follow up on some wild dog tracks from the morning.
We bumped into two massive elephant bulls in an open area and spent some time with them. Everyone got some special images of the giants from all angles as they fed around us. The light was brilliant and the elephants let us reposition our vehicles to get our desired images.
We carried on heading north east when a call came from the south that Tingana was found in the Mlohwati drainage line. We headed there and soon caught up with Tingana as he was moving through the thickets.
He eventually moved into a more open area and provided us with multiple walk-bys as he patrolled. This allowed our guests many opportunities to capture images of him as he went. Once our spot lights came out, we tested our manual settings, producing some back and side lit images. Having spent ample time with Tingana we made a quick drinks stop before heading back to the lodge for dinner.
During the evening and for most of the night we had a male lion roaring close to camp. This morning we decided to follow up on the lion. We struggled to locate the correct tracks as we had lion tracks all over the property. Eventually we decided to head east where the Nkuhuma pride were last seen.
Suddenly, one of our guests spotted 4 cheetah lying in the shade of a tree. It was a mother and her three sub-adult offspring. We had last seen them in April. What a find! We followed them but they were unsure of us and we decided to limit the sighting to one vehicle. There were also hyena in the area and this made them nervous. We rotated the sighting between our two vehicles and managed to get some decent images of one of the cheetah on a termite mound.
When the cheetah made their way through a dense block, we knew an open area was through the other side and decided to loop around in the hope that they would come into the open. To our collective surprise, when we reached the open area we found another cheetah. An adult male resting under a Guarri bush. To see cheetah in the Northern Sabi Sands is rare but to have two separate sightings in one drive was unreal.
We spent a long time with him as he was relaxed and allowed us to get close to him. He sat upright, posing nicely. Our guests were all extremely happy. We then headed to a nearby waterhole for coffee and stopped to photograph some Rhino who surrounded our vehicles and were covered in ox peckers. Having had a very productive morning, we headed back to the lodge for a hearty breakfast and more Lightroom training.
Join us on #BigCatPhotoSafari in 2018!