LIVE UPDATE from our Big Cat Photo Safari to Sabi Sand, South Africa.
By Specialist Photographic Guides Villiers Steyn & Lance van de Vyver.
It was the final afternoon of the First Group’s #BigCatPhotoSafari and lions were the order of the afternoon. After leaving camp we were informed that the Avoca males and some females they were with, had crossed into the Manyeleti. We were still keen to look for lions and headed in Torchwood instead.
Our trackers soon located tracks of the Torchwood Pride and we began to follow them. As we passed one of the lodges, we were flagged down and told that a leopard had a drink in front of the lodge and disappeared over the dam wall a short while ago. A decision was made to continue with the lion tracking, and keep the leopard as plan B. We followed the lion tracks as the zig-zagged across Torchwood and eventually in the Kruger National Park.
Plan B it was. We made our way back to where the leopard had been seen and followed the tracks. To our massive collective surprise we soon caught up with Quarantine Male Leopard. It is the first time we have seen him on #BigCatPhotoSafari since 2016. As always, he provided a truly amazing sighting.
He was extremely relaxed and gave us some fantastic photographic opportunities as he posed on various termite mounds, stalked some impala and scent marked as he walked through the bush. Our guests were delighted and filled their memory cards with images. The light faded and we made a stop for drinks and chatted about our experience over the past few days. After drinks we headed back to the lodge for dinner and chats around the camp fire.
This morning we were keen to find some lions. We headed north to see if the Avoca Males had crossed back into Buffelshoek. It was a very misty morning and really stunning to be out on drive. Our trackers soon found some tracks and we began the tracking process as we checked the blocks for tracks crossing in and out. After a difficult search, we managed to find the lions. It was the 5 females of the Talamati Pride on a Kudu kill.
The lions had been feeding and were already quite full but we managed to see some great behavior as the lions dragged the carcass, contact called and fed. It was a fantastic way to finish the first of two back-to-back #BigCatPhotoSafaris. Just as we had started with a lion sighting, so we finished with one. After drive we headed back to the lodge from breakfast and are busy preparing for the next 12 guests to arrive.