Yesterday afternoon we decided to follow up on where we had left Hosana. We also heard that Tingana had been seen in the area and, therefore knew we had two male leopards around. We soon found fresh tracks of both individuals. Each vehicle and our expert trackers concentrated on tracking one of these leopards. Tracking is always an enthralling experience, especially for our guests. Unfortunately, both sets of tracks left our traversing area to the west and we thought we had lost our chance of seeing either of them.
As we headed down the road, one of our trackers spotted a leopard next to the road in some long grass. A great spot from 100m away. As we got closer we identified it as Tingana. He seems to be enjoying his semi-retirement as the dominant male leopard in the area and was asleep. He occasionally lifted his head and looked at us, which allowed our guests a few chances to get some shots of the old brute. After spending some time with him we decided to head north and check the various waterholes.
Along the way we photographed a large bull elephant and some rhinos before we found a pod of three hippos in Lilly Pond. We decided to have sun-downers there and took the opportunity to get some eye-level shots of the hippos. The light was perfect and everyone managed to get some great shots of the hippos. This was a wonderful new experience for our guests and everyone left happily as we headed back to the lodge for dinner.
This morning we decided to search for cheetah in the open areas around Buffelshoek. This was risky as cheetah are not very common in the area but we decided to give it a shot. It was a very misty morning in the Sabi Sands and we enjoyed a spectacular sunrise and change of scenery. We spent some time with a small breeding herd of elephants and then continued north. We soon found the tracks of the Avoca male lions but they led out of our traversing area into the Manyeleti Game Reserve (from where they had come).
As we carried on, we used the mist and golden light as an opportunity to photograph some of the smaller creatures and birds including some male waterbuck in side-light, lilac-breasted rollers taking flight, two bateleurs in a dead tree bathed in golden light as well as various other raptor species. We stopped for coffee at Kudu corner before making the journey home for brunch and some post-processing sessions. This afternoon we plan to search the area around camp to see what we can find.