Sabi Sand Photo Safari: A Fearsome Rhino Battle …

Ben’s News from the Sabi Sand Photo Safari:
Thinking that we may be able to track Tiyane, the young female leopard, again this morning, we left the Lodge early and started to search for tracks. It was raining as we set out and the light was rather dull, but as we started to search for tracks we received a call about three lions.

We found two lionesses and a young male lion at a kudu kill. We photographed them for a while before we decided to see what else we could find.

With the intermittent rain everything seemed fairly quiet and after a lovely coffee break and chat in the bush we returned to the Lodge for breakfast.

This afternoon we were determined to find rhino – and we did. There was a rhino gathering at a waterhole – there were six in total. Three were actually in the water, while the large male stood on the water’s edge and two youngsters remained on the periphery. We photographed them all, hoping that the male who obstructed our view of the three in the water would move. But he didn’t move at all. So we contented ourselves with photographs of the big bull, and the youngsters.

We were joined by our second vehicle that had detoured to photograph elephants at Big Dam.

After a while the two male and one female rhino emerged from the water. One male was with the female, and remained with her. But the single male unexpectedly took offence at the other rhinos and suddenly charged. A massive fight ensued. Dust flew everywhere, horns lowered they chased each other. We had to move away because our proximity placed us in some danger. That rhino was really angry and appeared ready to charge anything at all.

It was quite a terrifying scene to witness, and we continued to watch wide-eyed when far enough to escape attention.

After this electrifying encounter we decided to stop for sundowners and to give our pulse rates a chance to slow again, while our second vehicle followed up on a call about the one-eye leopard, Ntsele.

Our vehicles met up again to visit the lions feeding on the Kudu. We photographed the lions using back-lighting and side-lighting. Each vehicle provided lighting for the other, getting front-lit shots while lighting the scene for the other vehicle. It worked out really well for both groups.

Back at the Lodge we are still filled with awe and talking about that fearsome rhino battle. It was something to see! Tomorrow morning we hope that our final drive may prove as exciting …