This morning we woke to the sounds of the Vervet Monkeys alarm calls. There was something they were not happy with, and they saw it right in front of our rooms in the riverbed. We speculated a leopard and headed off in that direction on our first morning drive on our Big Cat Photo Safari. When we came around the corner, this is what we saw.
With excitement on everyones faces we had started our first morning drive in the best possible way. We ended up following Kunyuma Male Leopard for about 20 minutes or so as he seemed to be on a mission when we lost him in some very thick bush.
From there we got word over the radio of another Leopard who had been found, this time it was a female Leopard named Thandi. We managed to follow her in some great morning light until as Leopards do, she disappeared possibly heading back towards her cub further south.
Moving onwards with a happy bunch of guests we headed towards some Lions. On the way there we eased into the middle of a herd of about 300 Buffalo, what a feeling. The sounds, smells and sight is one everyone should experience, we were totally surrounded as they moved slowly to the north.
We then continued on our drive towards the Lions that were seen very close to our eastern border where the Sabi Sands meets the Kruger National Park. This brought our tally to 2 Lion prides in as many drives. We got a few shots of them in the morning light and decided to move on as they had decided to become less active and catch a cat nap ;).
After a stop for some tea/coffee and rusks it was time to head back towards camp for breakfast. It seems the Leopards had different plans for us. A few hundred meters from camp a massive male Leopard named Mvula and a female Kwatile popped out the bush right in front of us. They were heading straight towards Gowrie waterhole. It seems our drive would end with a leopard right in front of our lodge, just as it had started.
Mvula decided to play hide and seek after following him for a while so we stayed with the female who went for a drink. One thing we were certainly grateful for is the flexible game drive times we have, which most lodges don’t offer. We were able to spend nearly an extra 45 mins with these Leopards before we headed back for breakfast with the hope of finding them on our afternoon drive again.
With a total of 4 Leopards, Lions and a massive herd of Buffalo we were grateful for such a fantastic drive and ready to head back to download our images.
Later that day we had word that Mvula was seen in the riverbed from one of the lodge rooms, something we were looking forward to following up on later that afternoon.