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Sabi Sand Photo Safari at Elephant Plains: Two New Leopards …

Hendri Reports from Sabi Sand Photo Safari at Elephant Plains …

(Images from the back of Brendon’s Camera)

Our first morning game drive with the new group of TuskPhoto Safari guests started as always before dawn. We split up, with one vehicle heading straight to the lions that we saw yesterday at the elephant carcass. The lions had moved away and were nowhere in sight, but about twenty hyenas milled around, feeding and arguing. Our hardy photographers hung around until the stench became so overpowering that they could not remain a moment longer, and they departed.

The second vehicle went directly to the Ingrid Dam Leopard with her duiker kill in the tree –

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– and found her fast asleep in the tree. The moon was bright in the background, creating a wonderful picture with the inky darkness still all around. Then, when the sun rose, and the golden morning light shone on the leopard, everyone’s collection of leopard images increased with some superb additions.

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We found and then followed some fresh female leopard tracks. These led us to Nchila, a young leopard that we have not seen before. This actually brought our tally of different leopard sightings to six! Simply wonderful!

This afternoon we traveled to the east to see if we could find the lioness with the cubs that we saw the other day. We found the mother, but there was no sign of her cubs. The lioness was drinking at a waterhole, after which she went to lie down in a lovely wide open area, giving us plenty of time to compose our images with care. Then she got up and went for a stroll with us in tow, photographing her as she went along.

A call came through about a young male leopard that had been found back toward the west, so we went there immediately. His name is Hosana, and we was in a dry riverbed. We positioned our vehicles for optimal views and the best photographic angles, and this paid off extremely well, especially when Hosana got up to walk directly past us. He went for a few further meters and posed on the river bank while we positioned ourselves in the riverbed to capture eye-level images of the handsome young cat. Then he recrossed the riverbed to lie on a termite mound in a perfect position for us to use our spotlights to get excellent backlit, side-lit and full face portrait shots.

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After this very successful day we started back to the Lodge, and noticed plenty of lightning criss-crossing the sky – promising rain in the morning …


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