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 and checked for tracks for male leopards in the area. While we were struggling to find any fresh signs of leopards in the area, we heard that a female leopard was found right in front of camp. We headed there and found Thandi in the bush in front of the lodge rooms. She was on a mission and we only had a short glimpse of her before she disappeared into a dense drainage line.
Many of our guests had requested the opportunity to try and get some back-lit shots of lions at night. So we made a call to try and locate the three Avoca male lions. Luckily, it did not take us very long to locate them. They were asleep in the grass. We waited for the sun to set and made sure our guests’ camera setting were ready for the chance to get some back-lit shots.
The coalition got up and began patrolling the area. This gave us the chance to light them up. Through great cooperation and communication between our vehicles we expertly lit the lions up as they sauntered down the road. We assisted guests with camera settings throughout the evening in order to make sure they got the images they had been looking for. Their resulting images were staggeringly good.
After a few decent opportunities with the Avoca Coalition, and a visit from a giant elephant bull, we made the journey home, seeing a spotted gennet on the way. We then happily shared dinner and camp fire chats together.
This morning we continued the search for male leopard tracks on Djuma but could not locate any. Whilst searching, we had a great sighting of a hyena proudly carrying a buffalo leg back to his den. Deciding to try for tracks in the east we made our way towards Torchwood. On the way, we were alerted to some Impala alarm calls back at camp and made a u-turn. We got back to camp and located Thandi. She was on the move but we managed to get a few images of her walking along the road before she disappeared back into the same drainage line as yesterday afternoon.
After the sighting of Thandi, we made our way north to check the open plains for any tracks but again, we did not find anything. It was time coffee and we stopped at Buffelshoek dam where we were joined by a large breeding herd of elephants. An amazing experience. The resident yellow-hornbill paid us an up close visit before we slowly drove back to camp for breakfast.