After heading out in the morning we went straight to where we previously left the mother leopard with her two cubs – and a kill. We searched, but there was no sign of her. However, we saw her tracks and followed these. It didn’t take too long – and there they were. All three were travelling through the bush and we were able to amass some really good photos as they made their way along steadily.
Mom was clearly making a beeline for some destination, and walked along with fixed determination. Her cubs trotted along beside her, no time for play or distractions.
We left them and drove around to spot other animals. We found a couple of buffalo bulls, which was great as we haven’t seen too many in the area recently.
Then we found the pack of Wild Dogs. They had eaten very recently and were resting, so after stopping for photographs we started to make our way back to the Lodge.
To our great surprise and delight we came upon a female cheetah with her two subadult cubs. It was fabulous to see them. They were also on a mission as they walked along without hesitation or detours.
During our break we heard that lions had chased a buffalo into a waterhole, where they killed it – in the water. So of course, as soon as we could, we went directly to that spot and found the lions feeding on the carcass in the middle of the Waterhole. We remained there for a while, but left again, planning to return again at sunset to capture some nighttime shots.
When we left the lions we soon amazingly encountered the Wild Dogs again … miles from where we left them in the morning. They had really moved a really long way. We accompanied them as they moved around and then had a some superb photographic opportunities when they arrived at a waterhole. They entered the water where they stood chest deep to lap at the water.
Then the dogs emerged from the water and made their way … oooh! … to the hyena den. And once again we witnessed some interesting interaction, to say the least, between the two species. The dogs chased the hyenas and the hyenas chased back. But the chaos intensified when the commotion caught the attention of all the hyena clan members in the area and they all dashed back to protect their den. When they converged on the den they completely outnumbered the Wild Dogs, and the dogs had only one option – retreat! And fast! The noise, the light, the drama, all created a perfect sighting.
By now it was time to return to the lions, where we spent the remainder of the evening.
Phenomenal photography of the lions standing in the water to feed, with the sunset colours creating a vibrant backdrop and gradually giving way to deeper shades and then darkness.
It was beautiful and a wonderful way to end yet another fantastic day …
Tomorrow we plan to start at the lions again …