Sabi Sand Photo Safari: A Pride of Seventeen Lions with Nine Eighteen Month Old Males …

Ben’s News from the Sabi Sand Photo Safari at Elephant Plains:
(Photos from Back of Ben’s Camera)

We left in the early predawn darkness to try and find one of the leopards we saw yesterday. We didn’t find anything, and took the opportunity to photograph some general game before we heard that a large pride of lions had been spotted. Both our vehicles headed that way immediately.

We found seventeen lions in all. There were nine eighteen month old males! The large number of young males were accompanied by six lionesses. The first of our vehicles to arrive found a number of the pride strolling down the road before they found a good place to stop. When we arrived some of the pride members were drinking at a puddle, and we quickly aimed our cameras to capture those shots. The other pride members were already resting in the shade of vegetation.

We stopped for our coffee break, when it started to drizzle very lightly. The sky was very somber and the ambient light appeared rather dark for much of the morning.

This afternoon it brightened up quite a bit although it remained completely overcast. As we passed the airstrip we spotted a giraffe, perfectly silhouetted against the glowering sky. We took some bracketed shots that we plan to use later for HDR work.

We received a call about a leopard right on the border of the reserve, but as we arrived, the cat unobligingly moved to the adjacent territory where we were unable to follow.

So we returned to the lions, and as the sun had just set, the lions were on the move. We followed them, but could not work out how many were on the march as our spotlights could only illuminate one or two at a time, and the cats were moving through the bush. However, we were able to photograph them in ones, pairs, or small groups as they progressed through the veld until they vanished in the inky darkness into thick undergrowth.

Earlier we also saw three White Rhinos, and our second vehicle saw a herd of elephants. As we were keen to reach the leopard at that stage we didn’t stop for long at either sighting.

As tomorrow is our final full day here we are content to take the day with whatever it presents for us …