Drive 3 & 4 (Group 2) – Big Cat Photo Safari
After the fantastic morning drive we had yesterday, we headed back out onto the picturesque Sabi Sands for our evening drive. We knew it would take some doing to match the sightings we had had in the morning, but our guests would not be disappointed. We headed north where we left Mvula and Xiluva, the mating leopards, earlier in the morning. We soon located them close to a nearby waterhole but they were flat on the ground.
We decided to have sundowners close by and return to hopefully catch them drinking at the water’s edge. It was the right decision.
We returned and located them right next to the waters edge. The spotlights of our vehicles illuminated the leopard’s beautifully as they cast stunning refelctions. The two leopards mated on the sand next to the water’s edge, giving our guests multiple opportunities to get some once in a lifetime images. Suddenly Xiluva started stalking something moving on the other side of the dam. Our eyes caught the white flash of motion on the top of the dam wall. It was another leopard which we later identified as Makhombo Male. He sat gracefully atop a termite mound and allowed our guests ample opportunity to get some side light images of him.
We left the three leopards and headed back to our the lodge for dinner and drinks around the fire. A perfect end to a most memorable day, which we and our guests will never forget.
During the night we heard lions calling constantly very close to the lodge. We headed straight in the direction of the calls. We found the lions within two minutes, all 15 of them on a large termite mound. The cubs playfully rolled around the mound as the adults looked on. The large Birmingham males posed perfectly for close up and portrait shots. They roared stunningly. We soon collected hundreds of images of them as the sun rose.
After we had spent some time with the lions, we headed north for coffee. Along the way we saw a lot of general game, elephants, rhinos and buffalo. All of a sudden a honey badger crossed the road in front of us. We followed and our guests managed to get some decent shots of the badger as it ran alongside the vehicle.
We then stopped at one of the few remaining dams with water in it. It was filled with hippos and our guests got onto their bellies for some low angle shots of the hippo, stopping only for some coffee or hot chocolate. Another sterling morning in the Sabi Sands.