LIVE UPDATE from our #BigCatPhotoSafari to Sabi Sand, South Africa.
By Specialist Photographic Guides Villiers Steyn & Lance van de Vyver.
Our current group of guests include a honeymooning couple and a 25th birthday girl. Yesterday afternoon we set out on drive in some very hot and muggy weather. Not ten minutes into drive, we bumped into another pack of wild dogs (different to the ones we saw in the morning). To our surprise, the dogs began to play. This allowed us a few opportunities to get some shots of them as they ran about. After they settled in the grass, we left them and headed north.
In the north we found a small herd of breeding elephants and photographed them in the golden afternoon light. The big blue skies and lush greenery made for beautiful images. We then followed up on some lions who were seen on the Manyeleti boundary. There we found an Avoca male mating with a Talamati Pride female. They mated 3 times whilst we were there. Unfortunately, they were on the other side of the boundary and we couldn’t position ourselves perfectly for photographs but still managed to get a few images of the mating pair.
Moving on from there, we went to Big Dam for a sun downer before moving back towards camp. We then spent some time with Tingana male leopard where each vehicle had 2 walk-by opportunities to photograph him walking towards the vehicles in the spot light. A great drive indeed.
This morning we headed out into the most spectacular auburn sunrise. The sky was stunningly beautiful. Soon into our drive, we bumped into female leopard Xidulu as she strolled down the road. We followed her for ages as she went- taking turns to photograph her as she walked towards our vehicles. She currently has two small cubs but neither of the cubs were nearby. When she headed into a block, we thought the sighting was over but she proceeded to climb a large termite mound and perch herself on top. This provided a beautiful photographic scene for us.
After some good time spent with Xidulu we headed to a nearby hyena den. We only found a lone female at the den and did not spend much time with her before we moved on. Our attention then turned to some lion tracks that had been found earlier. We joined the search and soon found the entire Nkuhuma Pride as they were moving south. Some still had bloody faces and we believe they made a kill in the night. We followed them for 30 minutes as they moved single file on game paths through the bush. Eventually they came to a small muddy pool where the entire pride took turns to lap up the cool waters. After a spectacular morning drive, we headed back to camp for breakfast.