Brendon’s News from Elephant Plains at Sabi Sand Game Reserve …
(Images from the back of Brendon’s Camera)
The welcome rains cooled the area somewhat during the night and when we set out this morning it was overcast and drizzly, and we could smell the fresh aroma of the damp, clean bush-veld. Luckily, as we set out the rain let up.
We were very anxious to try and locate the two ‘new’ leopards that we spotted yesterday, the female Nchila that we spotted earlier in the day and Hosana, the male that we came across in the afternoon, and therefore decided to check out the eastern section of the reserve.
Along the way we saw a herd of elephants, and it didn’t seem to take long before we were in the area where we left the male leopard last night.
We stopped to photograph a Fish Eagle at one of the pans, when suddenly an impala hurtled towards us as fast as it could run. On its heels was a Wild Dog and within seconds two more dogs arrived. Somehow, no-one how it happened, but the impala escaped. The perplexed dogs hung around the pan for quite some time, maybe hoping for their prey to reappear. We were so lucky to be at the right place at the most perfect time – and our cameras were up and ready. All we had to do was to re-aim and shoot. Everyone is delighted with the resulting images, and quite awed by the experience.
As the dogs moved off and we prepared to depart, we looked up and right there in front of us we saw the young male leopard that we had seen yesterday. Karula’s young cub, Hosana, was at the same pan! He was stalking some Egyptian Geese – typical behaviour for a leopard as young as he is. We collected some super shots before he went to lie down in some thick bush.
We left the leopard to continue our game drive. Some vultures looked great as they sat in tress, bathed in lovely, warm, golden morning light, and we simply had to stop to photograph that scene.
Then we heard that Thandi and her young male cub had been spotted so we hurried to them. We caught them and spent some quality time with the two before they disappeared into an inaccessible area. So we let them be and returned to the Lodge.
This afternoon the rain pelted down again. We all became soaked and quite chilled but it was worth it because we found Salayexe with a kill in a dense, concealed tree. It was a great place for her to hide her kill from potential thieves, but it was not the optimal place for photography. However, just seeing the leopard is always a treat.
When we started to feel too wet and chilly we decided that after four leopards in one day we could declare the day a success, return to the Lodge and rather wait to see what tomorrow brings …