LIVE UPDATE from our #BigCatPhotoSafari to Sabi Sand, South Africa.
By Specialist Photographic Guides Lance van de Vyver and Villiers Steyn.
Yesterday evening we headed out into Buffelshoek to see what we could find. We bumped into a small breeding herd of elephants and were also lucky enough to see a puff adder later in the evening.
After some more driving, we found some lion tracks and thought it must be the Nkuhuma pride. Our other vehicle then bumped into a single lioness. We followed her and soon realised she was a decoy and the rest of the pride were hiding up ahead. A herd of impala was the target. In a flash the hunt commenced and the lions managed to take down an impala ram.
We rushed in and found 5 lionesses and 8 cubs on top of the impala all fighting for a bite. It was chaotic as the lions growled, swiped each other and jostled for position. We sat in awe and watched this for the rest of the drive until it became dark. There were a few photographic opportunities when the lions lifted their bloodied faces. It was a sighting that you had to just watch and soak in. We then stopped for a drink just as a cold front began pushing in.
This morning we woke up to a wet landscape. It had rained in the night. This meant that leopards would be out marking. Soon after going out, we found male leopard tracks. After some tracking we caught up with male leopard Tingana moving next to a drainage line.
He eventually popped out onto the road and gave us a few walk-bys. As we predicted, and as expected, he also scent marked and rubbed some bushes along the way.
It started raining, but we stayed out and found the Nkuhuma pride and cubs, soaked in the rain. They were in a thicket which was not great for photography but it was nice to see them. The little cubs were soaked and very cute.