LIVE UPDATE from our #BigCatPhotoSafari to Sabi Sand, South Africa.
By Specialist Photographic Guides Villiers Steyn & Lance van de Vyver.
Yesterday afternoon we left camp and decided to search for leopards. We soon found some tracks but realized they were old so carried on going. On the way we popped past the two lions in front of camp that have mange. We sat with them as they had a drink before we visited the carcass of the warthog that they had killed. There was a hyena and some vultures at the carcass.
During our search we found a big old rhino cow who we photographed and then managed to find male leopard Hosana. Our tracker pulled off an epic spot of the cat. He proceeded to stalk a massive male giraffe who ran away when he got too close. Fantastic to watch. Hosana then moved around Buffelshoek dam where he sniffed various objects and climbed a tree where an old carcass was hanging. The meat was dry and crispy and he then descended and carried on moving.
We followed him as he crisscrossed roads and continued sniffing. We left him to carry on his evening patrol as it got dark. We stopped at Buffelshoek Dam where we enjoyed a drink with two hippos.
This morning we enjoyed coffee whilst watching lions from the deck. We also saw a barred owlet in a tree at camp and could see two Ground-Hornbills in the distance. What a way to start our morning. We then headed out of camp in search of the lions we could hear calling all night. We searched for quite a while but only saw some general game and a really fat hyena on the move.
Our luck changed and Thandi and Hosana made an appearance. Thandi was trying desperately to get away from Hosana. Our vehicles split, each deciding to follow a different leopard. Thandi moved quickly through the bush. She walked into some scrub hares and began to stalk them. In true leopard fashion, she saw a grey Duiker nearby and within a flash she bolted and caught the duiker, killing it with one bite.
She then hurriedly dragged the carcass away from the kill site as we assume she wanted to get as far away from Hosana as possible. What an opportunist, showing her experience by killing the duiker quickly before it could attract any attention to her. She stashed it under some thick undergrowth and began feeding.
We left her to enjoy her meal in peace and went to stop at Treehouse Dam for some coffee and to allow the adrenaline to subside. A slow start but a great finish to the drive.
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