Elephant Plains Safari: Introducing Tiyane (Salayexe’s Cub)
(All images photographed from Niel’s’ camera screen)
Niel Cillie Reports:
This morning our theme was lions, having heard roaring somewhere towards the east during the early hours of the still dark morning. We decided to start our day there, and after about 30 minutes of tracking by our very accomplished guide and tracker as they followed visible signs of a recent visit by a large male lion accompanied by a female.
The tracks first led us to believe that this could be a honeymooning couple, but that turned out to be incorrect – probably!
We turned our attention to the next lion sighting – two lionesses with four little cubs aged about 3 months. They were simply wonderful, and the photo opportunities as they interacted, played, suckled, and groomed were almost endless.
There was plenty to see at a nearby dam. Hippos entertained us from the depths of the water, with a large crocodile that tried hard to resemble a log as it lay there, motionless, in the early warming rays of the sun.
Also at the dam was a vociferous Fish Eagle, thrilling us with that unmistakable call, and Little Bee-eaters flitted around to catch the insects flying above the water.
We returned to the Lodge for breakfast – but our morning was not over … an African Barred Owlet decided to visit the camp, and of course our cameras were out again!
Just before we left again for our afternoon drive we quickly took some more photos of the Owlet.
As we climbed onto the vehicles ready for our departure for our drive we heard that Salayexe and her cub were close by – and the cub’s name was announced. It is Tiyane.
The two were at the waterhole where we had seen them yesterday. We spent some time following the two as they walked along, up and down, and through the river, through some really thick sand and bushes. And boy oh boy, did it ever pay off! We captured some fabulous (no exaggeration!) shots of the two grooming each other and interacting beautifully.
Just then we heard that Wild Dogs were lurking around the airstrip, so we hastened there, but although we found their tracks, unfortunately for us the dogs had moved away. So we stopped right there for our sundowners, and gloated over our excellent leopard images.
On our way back to the Lodge we heard that Salayexe and Tiyane have caught a Duiker, and hyenas have arrived in the vicinity. It was too late to return to them, but that is where we will start our morning …