The Sabi Sand Reserve that forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park seldom fails to delight, and every trip to the area finds one filled with anticipation and wonderful expectations.
We all arrived at Djuma by lunchtime, and after welcoming back returning guests and greeting first timers we had a quick briefing and were ready to set out for our first game drive.
The day was cloudy and cool but there was no rain during our drive. Not having a specific plan in mind we started to loop around. There were frequent stops for Impala, Kudu, and other Plains animals. We saw plenty of elephants but after a few artistic approaches to our photographic techniques we moved on, hoping to find one of the big cats that frequent the reserve.
We searched around stopped to photograph a hyena drinking water at a dam. It was
late afternoon – before sunset when we found a female leopard sleeping on a termite mound. This was quite unusual because the wind was quite strong, and the cat made no attempt to find shelter from the discomfort. However this was good news for us as we were able to spend quite a while with the leopard. We photographed her against a sky that changed from deep blue to almost violet before night took over completely. We used flash and then spotlights as the light faded to capture our subject perfectly. She was very cooperative and posed beautifully in all the time that we spent with her.
After a very satisfying start to our safari we celebrated with an amusing evening of anecdotes and stories back at the camp. Everyone tumbled into bed quite early in preparation for an early start in the morning …