Elephant Plains Safari: Stuck in the Dark …
(Images photographed from Brendon’s computer or camera screen)
Brendon Cremer Reports:
Our plan as we left the Lodge in the pre-dawn darkness was to head straight to the lions with the buffalo kill to see what action would be taking place there. Before leaving the Lodge we actually heard that one of the lionesses had fetched her cubs and as we didn’t know how many there were or what the ages were, we thought that checking there first was the obvious choice.
We reached the area as the sun rose, and sure enough, there was the lioness – and she was feeding her tiny cubs aged around 2 months.
We spent an amazing time with them. The cubs were very relaxed, and didn’t even glance at us as they tumbled around, ambushed each other, ran around, – and used the carcass as a jungle gym as they clambered up, fell down, and simply enjoyed the morning.
The other lionesses had left and headed further to the north, and after we spent some quality time with the remaining lioness she also left, totally abandoning the kill. We are not sure why, but the half eaten carcass was just left behind.
We saw another Rhino Bull, plenty of Giraffe, large herds of Elephants, and plenty of Zebra and Impala.
Then we heard that Salayexe and Tiyane had been spotted, but when we arrived there Salayexe had left her cub somewhere. We got another lovely collection of images of Salayexe – she always poses so obligingly. She was walking through the bush, hunting, climbing different termite mounds, forever alert for possible prey.
We tried to find Salayexe again this afternoon, hoping that she would continue her hunt. While searching for her we photographed another two Rhinos, numerous herds of Elephants and general game like the ubiquitous Zebras, Impala, and Giraffe.
Eventually we caught up with Salayexe. It was very clear that she had eaten and was on her way to fetch her cub. After their reunion and greetings, she started to take the cub back to where we had found her and we realised that she must have stashed the kill there and was bringing Tiyane to feed.
We spent the remainder of the day and evening with them. When they arrived at a large tree we spotted an impala kill stowed safely in the higher branches and within seconds Salayexe led the cub up the tree to start eating. The sky behind them was magnificent as we used our spotlights to show the leopards eating. More fabulous photographs.
But – uh oh! What now?
Both our vehicles got stuck right there! Stranded in the dark bush! We had depleted the vehicle batteries by using the spotlights for so long. Mmmmm!
It added a lot of adventure to our safari – especially as a couple of hyenas also arrived and circled the tree hoping that the kill would drop …
Of course we were rescued and are now safely back at the Lodge and enjoying our pre-dinner drinks, and feeling that just that little extra bit of excitement in the darkness added spice to an already fabulous, exciting safari.
Tomorrow we plan to check on both kills …