Elephant Plains Safari: Hunting with Tiyane (Salayexe’s Daughter)
Brendon Cremer Reports:
After everyone arrived and enjoyed a light lunch, we gathered for a briefing and a great chat before we climbed onto our waiting vehicles, excited and ready for our first game drive of this safari.
Not long after leaving the Lodge we came across a young leopard named Tiyane – remember she is Salayexe’s young cub. We had a superb time with her. When we found her she was lying on a termite mound, relaxing, and looking around . She looked wonderful in the late afternoon sun, and our cameras filled rapidly.
When we left her we drove around. We saw Elephants, then bumped into four White Rhino – they were walking slowly across an open plain and also photographed wonderfully in the afternoon glow. We passed Impala, Giraffe, Kudu, – plenty of general game.
When we headed back towards Tiyane we found that she had not moved from the termite mound. Beautiful iridescent colours had formed in the sky behind her, and our collections images of the beautiful young leopard increased by the minute.
After a while, as evening approached, Tiyane decided that it was time to start her evening hunt, and she set off in search of suitable prey. As she progressed she climbed high points like termite mounds or fallen trees to peruse the area effectively. And again, our cameras clicked nonstop.
(Image photographed from Villiers’ camera screen)
Eventually she spotted a herd of impala. But by then it was quite dark, and to follow and to photograph the hunt we would need spotlights, which would disturb Tiyane’s efforts and minimise her chances of success. So our lights went off, and we sat there, listening intently, and trying to follow any cues or moving shapes in the darkness. It was so special! Every now and then when all had been quiet for a while, we used the lights quickly to locate her, and then quickly turned them of again.
An hour and a half seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, and suddenly it was time to leave. She was really close to the impala at that stage, although they had sensed her presence once or twice and scuttled away. But she stuck with them and was mere meters from them when we left. She was so intent on the hunt that there may well be some success for her tonight. This is where we plan to start our early drive in the morning …