Yesterday afternoon, the heavens opened and the rain came down hard enough that we had to unfortunately cancel our game drive plans. It is extremely unusual to have rain during this time of year and it is the first time we have ever had a game drive affected by weather. Instead, we kept warm at the fire and talked photography and safari stories while sharing some Amarula and snacks.
This morning we woke up and thankfully the rain had disappeared. It was very chilly. We headed out and searched for leopards close to camp. The heavy rain had destroyed all tracks and puddles lay in the roads making this difficult. We then received a call that Tingana male leopard had been found close to Buffelshek Dam and headed towards him. He had made an impala kill and fed heavily in the night. His belly was almost bursting and he was fast asleep in the long grass.
As the photographic opportunities with Tingana were not good we collectively decided to move on. We then found two white-backed vultures posing wonderfully in a dead Leadwood tree and took some amazing hi-key images of the two. One then flew off and perched in another tree with wings wide open. This strange behaviour (as there was no sun out to dry itself) made for great images.
After everyone got some great shots of the vultures, we headed off and found a very large herd of elephants. They completely surrounded our vehicles and our guests managed to get some great and different shots of the elephants’ tusks, textured skin and eyes. The light was quite beautiful as it broke in and out of the clouds.
After spending a decent amount of time with the elephants we left and stumbled onto two hyena feeding on a fresh impala ram carcass. The gory scene was amplified by the appearance of a juvenile Bateleur Eagle who caught the attention of the hyenas as meat and blood dripped from their faces. There was a lot of meat left on the carcass and the two hyenas provided a great show. This afternoon we plan to follow up on Tingana and his meal and see what else we can find.
Join us on #BigCatPhotoSafari in 2018/2019!