When we ventured out this morning we went directly to a nearby waterhole. It was before sunrise and we could see the shadowy shapes of hyenas. We photographed them at the waters edge and again when they walked through an open area to pass right next to our vehicles.
We then drove south to locate cheetah that had been reported. Along the way we had some lovely sightings of Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters and later a juvenile Martial Eagle. The eagle was very busy as he flew around, landed in a tree, flew to the ground, took off again and flew for a moment before he returned to the tree, and then back to the ground again. He repeated this behaviour many times, giving us all plenty of opportunities for numerous shots.
From there we turned back towards the Lodge. We found springbok clustered in the shade of a small clump of Camelthorn trees.and we used different techniques to photograph that beautiful scene. Our high-key images turned out really well with the springbok and trees as the subject and the background totally blown out.
Before we reached the Lodge we came across a lion at the waterhole we visited before dawn. He was fast asleep, so we decided to return to him after lunch. When we came back he was still out for the count and showed no inclination to stir at all.
Further up the road we found a Tawny Eagle close to the road. His crop bulged massively, indicating that he had eaten really well during the course of the day. We waited until he flew right past us. Our cameras captured every second of his fly-past.
When we returned to the lion he was finally beginning to stir. He sat up and then walked directly towards us. But he didn’t go far before he decided to lie down again. We waited until he roused himself again. We realised that he wanted to go to the waterhole and we quickly positioned ourselves to photograph him as he walked directly towards us and then would have a good view as he drank at the waterhole. He was about fifteen meters from our vehicles and we were able to get some really close images as he lapped at the water.
On the way back to the Lodge we bumped into a caracal. It was quite dark and the cat was on the move, so although we could chalk that up as a great sighting, it was not the best photographic opportunity.
Then, last but not least, we stopped for two Verreaux’s (Giant) Eagle Owls right next to the road.
After our busy day and with cameras filled with terrific images we are ready for dinner and. In the morning we will probably start at the waterhole again to see what the lion does and which other animals arrive …