Drive 1 & 2 (Group 2) – Big Cat Photo Safari
Shortly after saying goodbye to our first group of guests, our second group of guests arrived at Djuma Private Game Reserve.
After a cool refreshment and a light lunch we headed out on our first game drive. Our new group were extremely excited as they have been following our daily blogs.
The lowveld is extremely hot at the moment and we searched long and hard for the big cats. We found a baby white rhino which stole our guest’s hearts and space on their memory cards. Then we got word of a special sighting and we immediately took our guests to it. We found ourselves less than 5 meters away from one of the most beautiful leopards in the Sabi Sands. The Quarantine Male.
Just as we arrived he climbed down from the Tamboti tree, and stood right in front of our vehicle. Our guests captured some stunning images of him as he posed on a nearby termite mound. He then proceeded back up the tree where he had stashed his two kills and continued his feast. An amazing moment!
As we returned back to the distant lights of Djuma, we stopped to get some images of a Giant Eagle Owl perched in a dead tree. A beautifully prepared meal awaited us as we arrived at the lodge and we enjoyed it as we discussed the day’s amazing sightings. Through the night last night, we heard numerous and ferocious roars from some lions nearby the lodge.
As daybreak arrived we could see lions in front of the lodge at the Djuma waterhole while we enjoyed coffee before the morning drive. The excitement was contagious as everyone quickly finished their coffee. What happened in the next 4 hours completely blew our guests away.
We drove for two minutes before we reached the lions. The lionesses, cubs and big males were all over. We got some amazing images of them against the white sands. We then positioned ourselves perfectly to get the lions as they quenched their thirst. The first rays of the sun glistened on their coats. What a start!
After the lions had moved into a thick drainage line, we decided to head north to Buffelshoek to try and relocate the two leopards who were seen mating yesterday. And as luck would have it, we found them. Mvula and Xivula were still very close to each other when something to their right caught our attention. Another leopard!
Three Leopards within 20 meters from each other! This was Makhombo Male and it seemed that he was also interested in mating with Xivula. We spent more than an hour with these three cats as the males occasionally fought and Mvula mated with Xiluva. She rolled over and posed beautifully for us after mating. After the dust settled we received another call that caught us totally unaware. Three more leopards were seen close to our lodge.
We went straight to the location in the dry Mluwati riverbed and as we arrived we were thrilled to see who these 3 leopards actually were. Karula and her two cubs! She was finishing off a Steenbok kill which all of them had enjoyed the prvious night. The cubs posed beautifully in the dappled light and we spent yet another hour with them before heading back to the lodge.
Six leopards on our morning drive! Simply unreal.
Our guests and likewise, ourselves , could not believe our luck!!