Villiers Shares from Elephant Plains: Action Packed First Game Drive
Shortly after setting out on our first game game for this safari, we found the large, dominant male leopard, Anderson Male. He was eating an impala that he had stolen earlier from a young leopard – Tambotie Female, and almost as though to add insult to injury, he dragged the carcass up into a Tambotie Tree. And there he tucked into his purloined feast!
We parked very close to the tree – actually almost under the branches, hoping that Anderson Male would jump down, but he was far too busy gorging on his meal.
At the base of the tree an adult hyena with a youngster lurked around, gazing hopefully into the tree, waiting for scraps that might rain down.
Luckily for them, Anderson proved to be quite a messy eater, with scraps falling regularly. The hyenas were so alert and expectant that they caught many of the bits as they fell, before they even touched the ground.
We spent quite a while watching the fun in and under the tree, and only left when another vehicle arrived – as we made space for them to enjoy the activities.
When we returned a while later, Anderson was lying flats on the ground, fast asleep, only stirring occasionally to glance around.
Meanwhile we had heard that the Breakaway Pride of Lions had finished off a buffalo kill yesterday, and were still lying around on a large open plain.
When we arrived, they were still very full, and clearly very reluctant to move with those large, distended abdomens. The sun was setting, and we took some pleasing shots of the relaxed pride.
Then everything changed! The peaceful, sleepy evening ended!
A herd of elephants arrived, and whether out of perversity, or whatever the reason, they started to chase the lions. They sent them scampering in all directions! And of course we were delighted to photograph the interactions!
As darkness took over, we were able to capture some great spotlit shots of the lions before it was time to head back to the Lodge for dinner.
Whew! Now that was a great first game drive, and we are looking forward to checking on Anderson Male before sunrise tomorrow ….
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