Elephant Plains: A Leopard Goes Hunting, while Another has Success

By September 23, 2013 Elephant Plains No Comments

Andrew Reports:

As before we started the morning on the lookout for leopards, but when we came across a bachelor herd of buffaloes in perfect lighting conditions we stopped. In fact we were there for more than a half hour as they interacted, ate, stared at us and moved around.

Shortly after we were thrilled to find two white rhinos sleeping in the road. The older male and younger female then kept our cameras busy for another excellent half hour as they stood up, grazed for a while, rubbed noses and lay down to doze with their heads close together. After a very short nap they were up again, rubbed noses again, ate some more and settled down to sleep again. All this in the open giving us plenty of opportunity for some great photography.

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Hearing that the male leopard, Lemoene was at Big Dam we made our way there. As we arrived he stood up and went down into a drainage line. It was a little difficult to see him, but we followed, hoping for a good view.

Then Lemoene spotted a herd of impala and immediately went into hunting mode. Head, ears and body flattened as he crept closer and closer. When the impala spotted him, a loud alarm call had them hurtling away with Lemoene in hot pursuit. He had no chance of catching one from that distance but he sprinted after them anyway great action shots! We continued to follow him in and out of the bush until it was time to return to the Lodge for breakfast.

On the way back we saw a herd of elephants, and general game is everywhere … giraffes, zebra, warthogs and various buck species.

The skies were clear as we set out this afternoon heading to a young male leopard with a fresh kill.

We found him lying down in some longish grass, and we had a reasonable but not great view of him. Insects were on our side, and a host of flies descended on the leopard’s face, attracted by the blood that smeared his face from his meal. The leopard tried to swat the flies away, but the flies were really persistent and after a few minutes he got up, completely irritated by the nuisance. He marched to a wide open clearing and flopped down there, giving us a splendid view. So good that we spent the remainder of the afternoon with him.

As the afternoon progressed toward early evening he got up again and this time groomed himself thoroughly. As the sun set our spotlights gave us superb front lit and side lit images.

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Thrilled with a truly successful day we headed back to the Lodge for supper.

But our day wasn’t quite over. A pair of hyenas appeared on the road ahead of us, giving us a great chance to follow them for some time – until they eventually disappeared into the bush.

This evening is quite glorious as we gather contentedly in the boma for our dinner under the stars.

And tomorrow awaits …