A Brilliant Day with Lion Hunts, Leopard Hunts, and more …

Dawie Shares from Elephant Plains on the Tusk Sabi Sand Photo Tour:
(Photos from back of Dawie’s (Leopard) and Kobus’ (Rhino) Cameras)

When we set out this morning we deliberated about whether to check on the lions at the zebra kill, or to follow up on the female leopard with the impala kill. Choices! Decisions!
We decided to check the hyena den site first and there we found the whole clan enjoying the early dawn. They ran this way and that, giving us the opportunity for some motion blur photographs. The youngsters played boisterously as they tumbled over each other and climbed all over the adults.

Soon after we left the hyenas we found five rhinos together. That means that we have seen the Big Five on this trip. The rhinos lay down and then walked around, giving us different photo opps.

We saw plenty of Plains animals again, including giraffes, zebra, and a number of impala herds.

We found the Styx lion pride. They moved along in the tall grass and we photographed them as they continued at a leisurely pace. Finally they found a spot to rest for the middle of the day and we left them as they settled down to sleep.

Almost immediately after that we found a female leopard. She was walking about, scent marking as she made her way along. We left her to her schedule and enjoyed a cup of coffee before we returned to the Lodge.

The afternoon was also really busy.

We saw elephants at the waterhole close to the Lodge and were able to get quite close to photograph them as they drank and splashed in the water.

Later we were super lucky and thrilled to come across a female leopard we have not encountered on this trip. She is very relaxed and totally ignored our presence. She was hunting a herd of impala, so we stopped to watch the action. Her hunt was not successful, and she gave up and retired to the shade of a bush.

Less than two kilometres further we encountered another pride of lions. They were playing around, and started by chasing one another. But when they spotted some buck the game quickly changed to a hunt. We watched until it became dark, and left them as it was too dark to see them and the use of flash or spotlights would interfere with the hunt.

We turned toward the Lodge and took a slow drive. And found another leopard. This female had caught a steenbok and hoisted it into a tree. The sighting was very clear and the leopard even came down to a lower branch in the tree where we could see her very clearly.

Then it was time to get back to the Lodge for dinner as we decided that we would probably start at the leopard with the kill as soon soon as we leave the Lodge in the morning ….