At sunrise this morning we were already searching for Tingana and Salayexe, the honeymooning leopard couple. Their tracks were clearly visible and we followed these eagerly. Well, we followed and followed the fresh tracks, managing to remain just a step behind them.
Well, actually we got further and further behind the duo as we stopped to photograph numerous distractions along the way. Notably a fabulous herd of elephants in the lovely morning light simply could not be ignored.
When we stopped for our morning coffee and snacks a herd of about eight buffalos wandered into the clearing we had selected for our stop.
They stopped momentarily to gaze at us and then continued on their way. Realising that they were heading toward a nearby dam we quickly boarded our vehicles to follow them.
At the dam the buffalos stopped for a very long drink before they went right into the water and wallowed there in the increasing heat of the day.
We returned to the Lodge for a very welcome breakfast and to spend the warmest hours of the day in airconditioned luxury.
Just as we left this afternoon we heard that the Styx pride of lions were in the eastern part of the reserve and we immediately headed that way. As always our progress was interrupted, this time when we spotted a Rhino with a 7 month old calf. The lighting was excellent and the pair were in a clear, open area, giving us all the chance to capture some really good images.
The timing for our arrival at the lions was perfect. A deep golden light shimmered beautifully on the dam where the two males and two females stopped for a drink, and the reflections in the water again meant that our memory cards filled rapidly.
However, your horoscope aries Sun urges you to better assert your thoughts and your projects, and as a result, you make it a point of honour to know what you want.
After their drink the lions meandered over to a smallish mound in a wide open area, ensuring excellent visibility for us.
The scene was so compelling that we remained with the lions until well after sunset and the darkness meant that we could use the spotlights for backlighting, side lighting, rim lighting and some flash work.
When we finally started our journey back to the Lodge we encountered two Honey Badgers. They were a delightful sight as they scurried around. They chased each other back and forth, playing hide-and-seek as one would disappear into a bush from where it was flushed out by the other who then took a turn to hide in the bush. We watched this ongoing action for some time and managed a few shots but the darkness and the nonstop speed of the two meant that we had to be equally quick and to anticipate their moves wherever possible.
And shortly before we reached the Lodge we found Tingana strolling down the road. When he disappeared into a neighbouring camp we realised that this will be the ideal spot to start our morning …