Regarding predators our morning started slowly, but that was not the way the day turned out!
First we photographed elephants and other Plains animals before we tried to find Wild Dogs where we hoped they were on this property. We did a large loop, checking for both dogs and lions. We checked the boundaries and found ourselves heading northward.
For the first time in ages we decided to stop for a coffee break, to regroup, re-think, and start afresh. Surely those cats and dogs were there. What a lovely break that was!
We stopped at a dam where a very active hippo kept us almost too busy to remember our waiting hot coffee. In addition a family of Egyptian Geese with nine tiny ones hitched a ride in turns on the hippo’s back. Every time they were dislodged they clamoured back up to enjoy the ride until they were off again. Up, down, up, down they went. It was delightful, cute, and very humorous! Of course our cameras very ultra busy.
Not long after that our tracker spotted a leopard named Tiyane up in a tree. She was on a high branch that overhangs the river. She had caught a Blue Vervet Monkey moments before, and was settling down to start feeding. We missed the kill by seconds. She waited until she finished the small meal before we started to make our way back to the Lodge.
This was our final game drive for the current TuskPhoto Safari guests, and what a way to end!
Our new arrivals joined us for lunch, and we were able to set out promptly to find Tiyane. But then, when we found tracks of a male leopard we followed these instead. We stopped to photograph Plains animals and were suddenly alerted by a call to report Tiyane’s whereabouts.
The leopard was up in a Marula Tree, and we photographed her against a sky with gathering clouds. She was asleep at first, but woke up as the late afternoon approached.
She jumped down from the tree and started to patrol. We followed as she made her way, walking casually through open and thick bush. Well, it was casual until hyenas arrived and chased her. Although we searched for her, she had disappeared somewhere impenetrable and there were no tracks.
We drove around, hoping against hope that she would reappear again. And wow! The next moment there she was! She appeared out of the bush, and we were able to remain with her again until she leaped up into a large, beautiful tree where she posed against the vibrant deep slightly pink, and dark blue sky with plenty of dramatic clouds.
Then we heard that a vehicle had a major problem and we had to assist them with their broken parts before it was time to return to the Lodge. An amazing day at Elephant Plains that ends each evening with a scrumptious multi course meal under the stars simply should be added to bucket lists everywhere.
Tomorrow we would like to resume our search for Moyà, maybe Tiyane, or that male leopard …