LIVE UPDATE from our Big Cat Photo Safari to Sabi Sand, South Africa.
By Specialist Photographic Guides Villiers Steyn & Lance van de Vyver.
Yesterday morning whilst we were having our Lightroom training, young male leopard Hosana could be seen from camp at the pan. He even tried and catch a terrapin which was great to watch. How lucky to have had him around camp the last few days. We left for drive in the afternoon and decided to head north in the hope of locating the Talamati lion pride and hopefully some male lions. On the way we had an incredible elephant sighting and saw a pearl-spotted owlet being mobbed by a flock of white-crested helmet-shrikes.
We saw zebras, giraffe and general game as we made our way north. We stopped at Bushbuck dam and had an extended sun downer whilst lions roared just north of us across the Manyelti boundary. We hoped they would turn up at the dam but unfortunately they did not. We left the dam and had two brilliant owl sightings on the way back to camp. We saw an African White-Face Owl as well as a Scops Owl.
This morning while having coffee around the fire, everyone agreed that they want to see rhino and male lions. We headed out into a freezing Sabi Sands to try and find these creatures. We heard lions roaring and stopped to listen. While sitting there listening, 6 or 7 hyenas pitched up and moved around us quite actively. We then made our way towards the roaring and soon found male lion tracks. We tracked for 1.5 hours and the lion had moved in a circle and eventually crossed back over our vehicle tracks into the Manyeleti. We must have been 20 minutes or so behind him.
We headed off and found a gorgeous Rhino Bull busy marking territory which was a fantastic and enjoyable sighting. On the way back to camp we bumped into Umfokazi Male Leopard, who we have never seen before (thank you James Richard for the ID), as he waited on a termite mound for some warthogs to emerge from their den. They dashed out and he unfortunately missed the hogs. He then slinked back into the bushes and disappeared. We headed back to the lodge for breakfast.