A Lion Kill and a Leopard Kill …

Dawie Shares from Elephant Plains on the Tusk Sabi Sand Photo Tour:
(Photos from back of Dawie’s Camera)

Another awesome day …
After our early wake up call and then fortified with delicious coffee, rusks and snacks we jumped eagerly onto our vehicles, ready for day.

We didn’t actually have a plan of action for the morning because the male leopard that we saw yesterday disappeared into a riverbed, and we were not sure that we could locate him again. But all thoughts of the leopard disappeared when we received a call about a pride of lions that had killed a zebra. We went straight there and photographed them as they fed. We remained with the pride until after sunrise. The pride had a few older Cubs and a number of females that provided us with superb shots as they scrapped and argued over the choicest bits.

When we left the lions we bumbled around while concentrating on general game for a while. We saw some splendid kudu and plenty of impala. We were intrigued by a giraffe that was chewing enthusiastically on a bone, and watched to see if he would try a taste and then drop it, but he continued to enjoy his unusual snack.

We searched for the male leopard, and then received a call that another leopard had been spotted in a tree with a kill. We found a female that we have seen on previous trips. It was great to see her looking so healthy. She and her impala kill were a little obscured by the dense foliage, but it gave us a chance to practice photography in challenging conditions, and everyone actually managed good shots.

This afternoon we wanted to return to the leopard.

On the way we bumped into a buffalo herd and stopped to photograph them and their attendant oxpeckers.

When we arrived at the leopard she was still in the tree. We hoped that she would come down from the tree, but as she didn’t we decided to return to the lions.

Just then we heard that the male leopard that we saw previously was posing on a termite mound, so we changed direction and hurried to see him. The beautiful sunset sky behind him created the prefect backdrop for our images. Fabulous! We spent most of the afternoon with him, and then headed out for a drive before we returned to him again.

Just in time! Drama! He was moving about slowly, and as he arrived at a different termite mound we spotted impalas that appeared running over a ridge and headed straight to the leopard. He immediately flattened himself on the ground, barely visible even to us. We held our breath! Surely! The impalas were a few arm lengths away. One leap! But luckily for the impala the leopard had eaten his fill the day before and although he looked interested, it was clearly too much effort to jump up and grab one of those oblivious animals running a few meters past him.

On the way back to the Lodge we stopped for a Scops Owl, and then returned, memory cards full, and ready for our starlit dinner.

Tomorrow we have a choice between a start at the lions or maybe one of the leopards …