Sabi Sand Photo Safari at Elephant Plains: Elephant Gored to Death …

Brendon’s News from Elephant Plains at Sabi Sand Game Reserve

(Images from the back of Brendon’s Camera)

As usual we were out of the Lodge before the sun had time to rise. We had heard last night that a young dead elephant had been spotted, so we headed directly there this morning. A fight between two elephant bulls resulted in the younger one’s death. We could see a large tusk hole in one side and another that pierced the neck. The two had been seen fighting during the past week, and sadly, this was the final outcome.

Six or seven hyenas were feeding greedily and noisily, and because they had opened the entrails the area was rather smelly. Although it was a tough scene and very sad to witness, and made extra gory by the hyenas, we captured some really interesting shots.

We carried on and found another couple of hyenas at a water-hole. We stopped to enjoy coffee and snacks at that spot before we ventured on again. A couple of rhino were a little skittish but we managed some very decent images of the pair.

This afternoon we had an amazing drive.

We traveled towards the east and found one of the Styx lionesses with four little cubs, about six to eight weeks old. They little ones were cute, very playful, and quite relaxed with our presence.

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Because only one vehicle is allowed at a time with such small cubs, we filled our cameras and then made way to give others a chance, –

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– but not far away we found another two Styx Lionesses accompanied by one of the big Birmingham Males. They were resting at the time, but we captured some great portraits each time they lifted a head.

A call came in about Thandi, a mother leopard, who had been spotted with her cub. She was in a fallen tree, with a cloudy, colourful orange and purple sky behind her.

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This was a wonderful setting, and we started with some flash work until it was dark enough for the spotlights. The cub remained under the tree feeding on a small kudu kill. It was too large to hoist into the tree – and we couldn’t help but be very impressed that Thandi had managed such a large kill!

We headed back to the Lodge, and just before we arrived we spied a little Barred Owl sitting on a dead tree stump.

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All in all, another fantastic day, while tomorrow we are spoiled for choice for our first drive. Do we return to the leopards, the lions, or the dead elephant? Mmmm – decisions in the bush! …