Elephant Plains: Moya’s Cub Independent and Flourishing!

Brendon’s News from Elephant Plains:
Moya’s Cub Independent and Flourishing!

On the way to the eastern region where we hoped to find Thandi and her cubs, we simply had to stop for a herd of about fifteen buffalo. Shortly after, we came across a magnificent male rhino. The lighting was so good that we stopped again.

ba Rhino Head Bren_D3S3399

And then – Thandi’s tracks! We followed these very fresh tracks, expecting to see the leopard at any moment, peeping out from behind a bush, maybe. She wasn’t behind a bush … she was way up in a tree watching as we searched.

We had time for one or two shots of her in the tree (it wasn’t as very photogenic tree, anyway), when she decided to come down.

And on the ground she immediately started stalking something. She must have spotted whatever it was from her perch in the tree, because she headed directly to a bush where she started to jump around in earnest. 

We were puzzled. What could it be?

Then we spotted it. A squirrel! And it was jumping around even faster than Thandi. We watched and photographed the two until the squirrel managed to confuse the leopard and make its escape.

Thandi then disappeared into some very thick, impenetrable bush – ideal for stashing cubs away. Realising that she would probably spend the heat of the day in there with the cubs we moved on, taking a leisurely course back to the Lodge.

We passed plenty of general game, more buffalo, and a lovely herd of elephants. But the highlight of the return journey occurred when we bumped into Moya’s young male cub. Actually not so much a cub now.

ba leopard walking Bren-_D3S3468

The fifteen month old is living independently, and although quite slender, he is definitely flourishing on his own. He was very relaxed and comfortable with our presence. It was a real treat to see him looking so fabulous!

This afternoon we headed to the east again, passing Big Dam on the way. Close to the dam were herds of zebras and a large herd of wildebeest, while Fish Eagles kept a keen eye on the water, and hippos enjoyed snorting and blowing in the dam.

We found female leopard tracks and while following these found Bahauti, the young male leopard, lying close to the road. We captured some great shots of him in the warm, golden light, and then heard another leopard calling, calling, calling – and not too far distant.

ba leopard Bren_D3S3334

We went in the direction of the sound, but the leopard was across the boundary. We hung around for a few minutes, hoping that he would appear – he was not more than 100 meters away. But the sound of his calls was all we had for today. It was possibly Mvula and we will return in the morning …

On the way back to the Lodge we found a Galago (Bush Baby or Nagapie). What was great about this cute little fellow was that he sat very quietly, and didn’t jump around like they often do. This gave us plenty of time for some really special photographs.

Let us hope that Mvula (if it was indeed he) appears close to where we heard him calling when we start our drive there in the morning …