Elephant Plains Safari: The Big 5 Starts our Safari
Brendon Cremer Reports:
The new group of guests arrived and after refreshments and a quick briefing we were ready to set out. Once again, the guests had heard/read about the leopards, lions and other animals that guests have seen on a daily basis, and everyone was ultra keen to get started.
As we drove out of the gates of the Lodge we immediately saw Salayexe. It was as though she was waiting for us right there on the road, in full view of the Lodge. What a wonderful way to start our safari – understandably, everyone was delighted, and cameras got busy immediately! Salayexe got up, started to walk around and headed into the bush. We followed her until she eventually disappeared into the thick undergrowth.
We headed towards the east to catch up with the lions there, where we found two of the males – fast asleep, so we thought that we would leave them to rest and return later.
As we drove around we encountered some very nice herds of elephants, especially one herd that arrived to drink at one of the waterholes. We stopped frequently to photograph the prolific bird life.
A very cooperative hippo in one of the small pans gave us a really good display, opening his mouth, yawning widely, and generally being very photogenic.
After sundowners that we enjoyed while watching a fabulous sunset display in the sky we headed back to the lions. On the way we passed a rhino, and shortly after we spotted a buffalo bull, so completing our sighting of the Big 5 for the drive.
The lions were waking up, giving us great shots as they yawned widely and then groomed each other.
The two then wandered down to a nearby pan where they had a long drink –
– before they returned to their original spot to flop down and fall asleep.
This evening we enjoying our dinner in the boma under the stars, surrounded by the sounds of the African bush all around and an unbelievable number of brightly twinkling stars above.
We are all set to check on Salayexe again in the morning …