Brendon Reports from the Sabi Sand Photo Safari at Elephant Plains:
Just think about it! The African bush, and your only thought for the next days is which leopard will I see? Where are the lions? … i.e., for the next days we can concentrate on the important things in life …
So here we are, at Elephant Plains and back from our first very successful game drive. It all started when everyone arrived in time for introductions to our fellow TuskPhoto guests, then a delicious meal, and after a quick briefing we were more than ready to board the safari vehicles and get get going.
During our meal we heard from the rangers about a leopard towards the eastern end of the reserve with an impala kill. So naturally that was our first destination. When we arrived, the leopard, a male, was lying on the ground in some long grass. We could see him but at that stage decent photography was just about impossible. It turned out to be one of Karula’s young male cubs. He is just over a year old and quite independent.
We decided to be patient and to wait it out. And that was the perfect decision. As evening approached the leopard got up, stretched and then jumped up into a large Leadwood Tree. His kill was there and he settled down to feed. We used flash to light the foreground, with the beautiful sunset colours tinged with shades of reds and oranges, and a deep blue sky behind.
As darkness arrived we took out the spotlights. He continued eating and eventually, when he had enough, he sprawled on one of the branches. We captured some great shots of the young fellow.
On the way back to the Lodge we found a White-faced Scops Owl and stopped for some photos before continuing our journey back to camp.
All in all it was a great way to start our first safari, and tomorrow morning we will probably return to the leopard at first light …