Brendon from Elephant Plains:
Everyone arrived today in time for lunch and a quick briefing before we were ready to set out for our first game drive. The guests are new to Elephant Plains and I really hoped that we would get off to a special start ..
Did we ever!
The game drive started well with beautiful crystal clear light and plenty of general game such as impalas, kudu, zebras, giraffe, and some buffalo lounging around in the mud next to a dam.
We heard that a leopard was in the eastern area, and we hurried to the spot. There he was, lying in some longish grass, lifting his head from time to time to check us out and to look around.
Just as the sun set, he got up and started to walk. We needed the spotlight it was dark, and we managed to keep up with him even though he walked very purposefully through the dense vegetation.
The next half minute was beyond belief ..
Suddenly the leopard darted out of the light and we heard tremendous but momentary screams. We refocused the spotlight and there he was, a few short meters away, with a duiker in his mouth!
Incredulous, we started to take photographs ..
Well, the bush always has surprises. We had managed just one or maybe two photographs of the leopard still standing with the little buck in his mouth when two hyenas materialised out of the darkness and grabbed the duiker from the leopard.
All this in a few seconds!
The leopard looked on – he had not even had a few seconds to stow his kill! We certainly had no idea that the hyenas were there, and there arrival surprised us as much as it did the unfortunate leopard. He disappeared into the darkness as suddenly as the hyenas had arrived.
We spent the remainder of the time with the hyenas – and that was also full of action. They squabbled, argued and fought over the buck. The sounds were really impressive as they snarled, growled and snapped at each other.
We are all back at the Elephant Plains Lodge now! Everyone is still wide-eyed after that amazing encounter!
We hope to find the leopard again in the morning …