LIVE UPDATE from our #BigCatPhotoSafari to Sabi Sand, South Africa.
By Specialist Photographic Guides Lance van de Vyver and Villiers Steyn.
Yesterday afternoon we headed out on drive and travelled north east. One of our trackers noticed some impala acting strange and, on closer inspection, we found female leopard Tlalamba on a fresh impala ewe kill. She was still panting from the takedown and kill.
We stayed with her as she began to pluck out the fur of the impala before suddenly something spooked her. The relatively small female proceeded to hoist the massive impala ewe up into a tree, at least 5 meters up. It was one of the most incredible things to witness. We were gobsmacked.
She accidentally placed the impala in a bad spot and then held onto it for 15 minutes to stop it from falling. She tried repeatedly to move it but just could not muster the strength.
Eventually, with an almighty and fierce pull she pulled it up and moved it to a safe spot in the tree before moving off and resting in another branch. Having spent the whole afternoon with her, we had a celebratory drinks stop before heading home.
This morning we went straight back to Tlalamba. After finding her hanging out below the tree, we positioned ourselves for the ascent. We then waited 90 minutes without her moving. A call came through on the radio that the Talamati pride were heading to a nearby pan for a drink. We quickly made our way there and found them.
We watched the entire pride drink before they moved back to where they had killed TWO zebras.
Multiple hyenas and vultures were sent scattering.
We spent the next 90 minutes at the sighting watching the interaction between the various scavengers and the lions. It provided multiple photographic opportunities before the light became very harsh and we decided to call it a morning.