LIVE UPDATE from our Big Cat Photo Safari to Sabi Sand, South Africa.
By Specialist Photographic Guides Villiers Steyn & Lance van de Vyver.
Yesterday afternoon we headed out of camp and decided to follow up on the cheetah brothers. Soon after leaving camp we found two male giraffe busy ‘necking’ (a territorial fight). It was fantastic to see this not often seen behaviour. We got a few shots of the two before continuing on our mission.
When we arrived at the place we had left the cheetah we discovered that they had disappeared into thin air. We could not figure out in which direction they had gone. This is the way of the bush.
We heard that Hosana had made a kill next to camp and headed back. When we arrived, we found him lying in the open at the base of a marula tree watching his kill. There were 5 hyena lying with him.
After the light faded he then decided to climb up and eat some of the carcass. This allowed us a great opportunity to capture a leopard in a tree with the fading twilight sky in the background. It was a shot some of our guests really wanted to capture and our guides helped them to achieve this. After a great time spent with Hosana, we headed back to the lodge where we enjoyed a traditional Shangaan meal.
This morning was the last morning for 6 of our guests and it turned out to be very exciting. We left camp and soon found Hosana lying next to the SafariLive tent. It was not a great sighting photographically. However, while we were sitting with him, we could hear buffalo calling as well as lions calling in the distance.
We followed up and found a breeding herd of about 200 buffalo drinking at the small pan in front of Galago camp. They literally drank the pan dry. We got some wonderful images as they kicked up dust and ox-peckers patiently cleaned them of ticks and parasites. We could still hear the lions and decided it was time to find them.
Our quick trip north yielded not lions, but male leopard Tingana resting regally on a termite mound. He posed nicely for us until suddenly he jumped up and ran. A lone lioness had appeared. We followed them both as Tingana kept his distance from the lioness as she was contact calling.
We then bumped into the rest of the Nkuhuma Pride resting in the grass. One of the lionesses saw Tingana and attacked. He bolted and managed to get up a marula tree with the lioness just several meters behind him. A lucky escape and the poor leopard actually wet himself.
A few minutes later he leapt out the tree and climbed up another tree with a much steeper trunk and then watched the lions from up high as they greeted one another. We headed back to camp and bumped into some rhino and hyena along the way. After breakfast, we bid our guests farewell and we look forward to welcoming a new group of guests this afternoon.