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 our final afternoon drive and we set out to see what was out there. Male leopard Hosana was still around camp and we stopped past him. He was fast asleep and we decided to move on.
A plan was then hatched to try and find the large herd of buffalo we had been seeing in the north. We soon tracked them down as they made their way to a waterhole to drink. We sat in silence as the whole herd came down to drink. The sheer number of animals meant that they actually drank all the water in the small pan, leaving only mud.
As the last buffalo were hanging around, a large elephant bull came down to drink. He then proceeded to chase the buffalo, throw mud at them and then have an amazing mud bath right next to us. The sun was a gorgeous gold and his muddy body turned a jaw-dropping golden / bronze colour. Everyone managed to capture some unbelievable images of the statuesque elephant. He seemed to be putting on a show for us.
Our other vehicle was also at a nearby waterhole. They watched as 17 young bull elephants arrived at Big Dam. The elephants swam, snorkeled, splashed, threw mud and had a ‘pool party’ in front of us. Again, this was spectacular to watch and allowed everyone a decent amount of time to capture some interesting and different images.
On our way out of the sighting we bumped into the 3 Avoca male lions. They were fast asleep on the ground and we decided to leave them to sleep. We then all met up and had a final spectacular sun-downer together before heading back to camp for dinner together.
This morning we left camp and immediately found male leopard Hosana in front of the lodge. He was in a large Jackalberry tree. He was playing like a kitten and provided an absolutely stunning final big cat sighting. We then followed him as he moved through the bush looking for potential meals. The sun rose and the light turned golden. We were provided with some amazing photo opportunities before he moved into a very thick block and we stopped following. On our way for a quick coffee stop we saw some nice elephants and, after coffee, we headed back to the lodge for brunch. We will be back in the Sands in just under 4 weeks.