Sabi Sand Elephant Plains Safari: Stuck in the Bush! …
Ben’s News from Elephant Plains at Sabi Sand Game Reserve …
(Image from the back of Brendon’s Camera)
The dawn was just deciding to break when we headed out, keenly looking out for Salayexe. We left the leopard last night in the dark as she started to hunt a herd of impala – and what a fabulous time we had. The morning was cool and overcast with very subdued lighting.
We found Tiyane (Salayexe’s daughter) as we scratched around to see what we could see. Tiyane was on the move and we followed her for the full duration of our morning safari. She went through grassy plains, climbed termite mounds for a quick groom and look around, before she moved on again, choosing any and every opportunity to climb a log or fallen branch as a vantage point for a good look around. She was on the move the whole time and at times we had quite a job keeping up with her … but we doggedly managed to catch up each time she went through particularly thick bush, or took a shortcut through a song a or riverbed that we had to drive around.
Each time the young leopard stopped we took dozens of photographs, and when she was one the move we snapped away as well as we could. We had to use flash because of the dull light, but luckily Tiyane is very chilled, and hardly gave us a passing glance.
Back at the Lodge we enjoyed brunch followed by a tutorial on flash photography in the bush.
Our afternoon game drive was fairly quiet. We drove to the Eastern Section of the reserve in search of lions that had been reported there, but one of our vehicles got stuck in some very soft sand in a riverbed as we started our search for the big cats. It took ages to get the vehicle out, and finally a rescue tractor from a neighbouring Lodge was summoned to assist.
As we were pulled free from the sandy riverbed we heard of a nearby lion, and managed to get over and photograph him as he walked in the darkness down a roadway. Our spotlights meant that we were able to get some really cool shots. When he crossed the boundary to a different reserve we turned towards our Lodge, late, but satisfied that we had seen at least one of the lions we had wanted to photograph this afternoon.
After that adventure in the bush, we are extra keen to get out in the morning to maybe see if the lions will be around …