Elephant Plains Safari: Leopard, Lion, Wild Dog (with pups)
(Photos from Brendon’s Camera Screen)
Wow – here I am again – this time way on the opposite side of our vast continent! Back at Elephant Plains – and what a fabulous first afternoon here we have enjoyed!
There was a huge air of anticipation as we all gathered at the Lodge in time for an outstanding lunch – then, after a quick chat and briefing, we were ready …
Moya, a lovely female leopard had been spotted this morning with a kill, and it was just a matter of us getting to the area to catch up with her. There she was, looking very replete and lazy from consuming her meal. She lay around lazily for a while, not doing too much other than lifting an eyebrow if there was a particular disturbance.
We left her to enjoy her afternoon siesta, and we pleased when not too far distant we found a pride of lions. These were the Tsalala Pride with four young males with one lioness. We haven’t seen them for some time, so it was really special to catch up with them again and see them looking fit and healthy.
At first the lions just lay around in the shade, but shortly we noticed that they were becoming restless. Yes – they were off! They meandered along to Big Dam where they sprawled out on the dam wall, which gave them a good commanding view of the surroundings, The sky was deep blue, and provided a lovely backdrop to our low-angle shots.
As darkness approached we headed back to Moya. She had retreated to the safe branches of a tree, and there we photographed her with the colours of the sunset behind her before we took out the spotlights and flashes when there was only starlight.
We remained with her for quite a while – in fact until she came down and went to rest on a termite mound, where we garnered even more winners! For some of our guests this was the first ever sighting of a leopard in the wild, making the afternoon not only exciting and beautiful, but also forever memorable!
On our way home we finished off a fabulous afternoon with an encounter … can you believe – with a pack of Wild Dogs! And to make it even more fabulous, they had a number of little pups. We couldn’t shine the spotlights onto them because of the ages of the little ones – but it is wonderful to know that they are in the area, and seeing them in the dark was awesome!
We hope to catch up with the dogs again in the morning now that we know more or less where they may be …