Sabi Sand Photo Safari: More Leopards and Even More Lions …

Brendon’s News from the Sabi Sand Photo Safari at Elephant Plains:

When we set out early this morning we decided to start by driving around to see what we could see. There was lots of general game with the giraffes and zebras looking particularly striking in predawn greyish light.

On the nearby airstrip we found a few hyenas. They were having such fun as they chased each other around, rolled around on top of one another, and generally enjoyed a hilarious time while giving us plenty to photograph.

We searched for leopard tracks but didn’t see any around here. In fact we were still checking when we received a call to inform us that a young male leopard had been spotted in the eastern part of the reserve. We shot out that way and found the young fellow lying on a termite mound where we were able to get some lovely shots, including some good portraits. We spent quite a long time with the young leopard as he lay there, relaxed, but alert.

When we left the leopard we bumped into a large male lion. He was lying on a dam wall, and although we couldn’t get very close, we had a good view and ended up with decent photographs.

By now it was time to return to the Lodge for a rest and a meal, and when we set out again this afternoon for our game drive we headed back towards the east.

On the way we encountered another male leopard and stopped to photograph him as he lay sprawled out in the road. He was very cooperative and we remained with him until he decided to disappear into one of the thickets.

We moved on to see if we could find the young male leopard from this morning. We found his tracks, but there was no sign of the young cat.


Not much later we found the pride of lions with their cubs that we saw yesterday. When the lionesses moved over to a small water hole for a drink, the reflections in the water looked quite perfect, which meant that we we all able to get some superb shots.

Heading back towards the west we found another pride of lions. As it was dark we were able to use our spotlights for backlighting, side-lighting, rim-lighting as well as some awesome portraits.

So another fabulous day finds us back at the Lodge, enjoying our pre-dinner drinks and looking forward to a sumptuous dinner under the stars.

And tomorrow I think we will simply take our chances again and see what appears out of the bush …