Our guests arrived from all over South Africa and the excitement on their faces was infectious.
Not even the gloomy skies could subdue their moods as they were all looking forward to seeing and photographing some Big Cats.
Having enjoyed a deliciously prepared lunch by our chef and after a quick briefing we set out on our first drive, and the sun had come out too!
Snaking our way through the shadows of Marula and Leadwood trees, we were captivated by the sheer beauty of the Sabi Sands. A couple of Daga Boys made for some great shots in the late afternoon light. We soon added Rhino to the list, followed by a large breeding herd of Elephant having an afternoon drink.
We got a call of a special spotted cat in the vicinity and immediately headed in her direction where we found Karula relaxing and posing perfectly in a Marula tree. Our guests quickly filled their cameras with stunning images.
She has a litter of cubs and we caught a glimpse of them in the grass but not long enough for any photos.
We spent over 30 minutes with her and left her after she hoisted a kill up into the tree and settled in for a nap, our guests overjoyed with this fantastic sighting, (a first for one of our international guests). We then headed immediately to another nearby leopard sighting where an unknown female leopard and sub-adult cub were feeding on an impala. These leopards were not habituated with vehicles and disappeared soon after we arrived.
We then set out to take some photos of the sunset at the Khaya Manzi Dam, where we got some beautiful photos of a herd of waterbuck in amazing light and some amazing sunset images by lying flat on our tummies to get low angled shots of the surroundings and reflections of the dead trees in the water.
Hearing some alarm calls nearby, we hopped on the vehicles to investigate and soon found a lone Nkuhuma lionesses strolling towards us. This completed the Big Five on our first drive.
She continued on her nightly pilgrimage and occasionally stopped to roar to her sisters.
A perfect way to end the perfect first day of our Big Cat Photo Safari
Tomorrow we will head back to see if we can find Karula and her cubs again!