Elephant Plains: New areas to Visit at Sabi Sand Reserve

Brendon’s News from Elephant Plains:
New Areas to Visit at Sabi Sand Reserve (some images from back of camera)

Everyone gathered by lunchtime and after a delicious lunch, followed by a briefing and layout of the plans for the next few days, we were ready to set out.

A few weeks ago a massive fire struck the area, and we were shocked to see the extent of the damage. The animals have also moved away from the burnt western region, and because of this, large areas in the east have been opened for us to traverse. Great! These are areas we have not explored before, and with the density of game now clustered there, we found plenty to see and photograph.

To touch on the highlights, then. 

We photographed ten or twelve buffalo bulls resting peacefully close to the road , and just then we heard that a young male leopard had been spotted.

We dashed to the spot and found Bahauti – a beautiful young male – and did he ever keep us busy.

The young man was walking purposefully along, passing through long grass and thick clumps of bush. He hardly looked left or right. He marched on and on with a purpose. We tried our best to keep up with him until finally he ventured onto a wide open area and then onto the road ahead of us. This was easier and we followed until he reached a large dam, where he stopped for a long, long drink. 

Leopard Drinking Wim 992-179

The sky behind the magnificent cat was vibrant and clear, and as it was quite dusky by now, we needed our flashes. It seemed like seconds later that it was too dark even for flash, and out came the spotlights.

After finishing at the dam, Bahauti walked directly towards us … and in the darkness, the image was quite breathtaking. Click, click, click, almost nonstop as he strolled along.

Leopard at Night Brendon

When he eventually disappeared into a drainage line it was so late that we had to head back towards the Lodge.

On the way we had another impactful sight. A dark shape that loomed out of the darkness turned out to be a rhino! Lovely to see in the dark! And a owl carefully watched our movements …

Night Owl Brendon

Back at the Lodge we heard plenty of news that has filled us with anticipation for tomorrow. Two leopard mothers, Thandi with eight week old cubs, and Shadow with cubs just a couple of weeks old, have been seen close to the Lodge. And Nsele, another young female leopard was spotted with a kill – it is on the ground, but hopefully it will still be there tomorrow. We can but hope …