Elephant Plains Safari: Tingana Keeps Guard

Villiers Shares from Elephant Plains:  Tingana Keeps Guard
After all those amazing experiences we have had in the last day, it was hardly surprising that this morning started very quietly.
By the time we turned towards Big Dam for our coffee for our morning coffee break we had seen very little.
Then things changed for us …
First we found a hyena strutting down the road to Big Dam, …
6 ep-Hyena Villiers1-1
… and then, while enjoying our coffee and the morning peace at the dam, we received a call that Tingana, a huge male leopard (with a very large head), had been spotted.
We found Tingana sitting on the top, and to the side, of a large termite mound. He stared very intently at the base of the mound, and we couldn’t decide whether he was waiting for a warthog to emerge from the hole in the mound, or whether he was waiting for a warthog to return to its home at the base of the mound.
Luckily for us, Tingana had chosen a lovely sunny spot for his vigil – great for photography!
6 ep Leopard Villiers 2-2
Then a warthog appeared, and started to approach the termite mound. As soon as Tingana saw his prey, he went into hunting mode. Ears flattened, he crept unobtrusively along, closer and closer to the wary warthog. But the warthog either saw, or maybe sensed the danger because it suddenly fled into the cover of of some thick vegetation.
Tingana returned to his perch on the termite mound and settled down to watch and wait patiently some more.
And as breakfast time had arrived for us, we returned to the Lodge.
As we drove out this afternoon we found Salayexe sprawled out on her back in the warm sand. She had some splotches of blood on her nose, and we realized that she must have a kill nearby. Sure enough, it wasn’t long before she got up and entered a thicket and didn’t emerge again. So that is almost surely were she has stashed her kill.
A call came through that two lions were seen in the east, so we made our way there. And yes, two lionesses from the Styx Pride were lying next to a very picturesque waterhole. The two got up, and started to wander around, and comically and very unsuccessfully tried to hunt some guinea fowl.
Because the two were on the move and possibly hunting, we followed them for ages, in fact we remained with them until it was time to return to the Lodge. When they spotted a herd of Impala, they both immediately adopted their hunting stances. Ears down, and bellies to the ground they started to approach the herd. But again they had no luck.
So, for our final evening drive with this group we got to spend real quality time with Salayexe, and with the hunting lionesses. A perfect final evening.
And for the last game drive for this group in the morning? The wish is to hopefully see another leopard …
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