(Photos Representative only from Previous Trips)
Well, here are back at Elephant Plains in the Sabi Sand Reserve … and what a tremendous pleasure it is to experience this rather unique area again.
Tusk safari guests arrived with eager anticipation in time for lunch, after which our usual quick briefing took us to the time to start out first game drive. What would we see? Anticipation mounted when the rangers told us that a female leopard and her cub had been spotted very close to the Lodge area.
We went straight to the spot where the leopards had been seen and yippee, there they were, right next to the Lodge. The mother fed on a large bushbuck kill, and wow! Right there on the deck next to one of the Lodge rooms overlooking the scene sat the cub. The cub then came down to join to start feeding as well. And the leopards changed places – the mother went up to lie on the deck from where she could watch her cub. On that deck is a small swimming pool, and the mom took a break from her vigilance to take a drink from the pool before she lay down again to keep an eye on her cub and the scene in front of the Lodge.
We watched the leopards for some time, and then, just before sunset, those scavengers of the bush – a number of hyenas – arrived and grabbed the remains. Within seconds they disappeared, leaving the leopards looking understandably put out. The mother was particularly upset as she had not finished feeding and was still really hungry. She started to hunt immediately and actually came across a duiker that she stalked. She came within a few meters of her prey and was about to leap when a swirl of wind took her scent to the duiker and it dashed away in a flash.
We continued to follow the leopard and when she spotted a Scrub Hare she wasted no time and darted after it. Another narrow miss! The Hare escaped by a hair!
As it was time to return to the Lodge we left the leopard to rest before starting another hunt. We would like to check on her as soon as we set out in the morning …