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 left camp and, having had some amazing sightings the past few days, decided to drive into a new area. We headed into Torchwood and wanted to check open areas for signs of cheetah. Instead we happened upon male leopard tracks and decided to follow these. We bumped into a large herd of buffalo as they were crossing south.
We followed the leopard tracks as they moved a fair distance north through a drainage line and over a large rocky area. They ended up at a large pan where we found a few young elephant bulls play fighting and drinking. We got a few shots of the elephants before continuing our search for the leopard.
The sheer number of elephant activity in the area meant that the leopard tracks were soon lost amongst all the elephant tracks. As the the light faded, we were unable to follow any longer. We stopped for a wonderful sun-downer before ambling back to the lodge for a braai / barbecue.
Shortly before leaving camp this morning, we heard a leopard calling nearby and followed up. We then went on a wild goose chase as there were leopard tracks all over. Tracks were from a male, female and cub and crossed all over the show.
At one stage we followed a spotted hyena through the bush, hoping he would lead us to the cats. He did not. Along the tracking route, we managed to see rhino and elephant and had a really lucky and good sighting of a honey badger. We even managed to get some images of the badger (notoriously difficult to photograph).
Towards the end of drive, a call then came on the radio that two cheetah brothers had been spotted in the north and we headed straight there. We found the two brothers lying down in the open with their heads up. They were alert and yawned on a few occasions. We could thus get some great shots of the cheetah.
Having now seen the magnificent 7 over the past 6 game drives, everyone was thoroughly content. On the way back to the lodge we found a wonderful scene at Sussens dam where there were all manner of antelope, animals and birds all with an amazing backdrop of big clouds in the sky above. Later today, it is the final afternoon drive of our guests who are leaving tomorrow and we hope to find more special animals.