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Sabi Sand Safari Photo Safari at Elephant Plains: Young Leopard Cub and then Our Favorite – Salayexe …

By April 8, 2017March 8th, 2018Sabi Sand Photo Safari

Brendon Reports from Sabi Sand Photo Safari: A Young Leopard Cub and then Our Favorite – Salayexe …

 

Can you imagine how wonderful it is to be back here at the lush Sabi Sand Reserve with all the amazing animals that abound here.

Having arrived at around noon in time for a delicious lunch, followed by a briefing and getting to know you session we were more than ready to depart for our first game drive. Everyone was really hoping to see a leopard …

As we left the Lodge our very first sighting, in fact, very soon after leaving the Lodge – one of our two vehicles found Nsele’s young 1 year-old leopard cub. She was lying on a dam wall and although she is often quite skittish and not too relaxed around vehicles, she appeared far more at ease today and allowed some lovely images to be captured.

99 EP Leopard Brendon 2017 1

The second vehicle found fresh leopard tracks and followed these directly to Salayexe. The friendly leopard was lying in the dry Manyalete riverbed.

99 EP Leopard Brendon 2017 3

At this stage both vehicles joined up and proceeded to spend the entire afternoon as Salayexe lay around, then moved around a bit – and then spotted some impala, which she immediately started to stalk. It was fascinating to watch as she gradually crept closer to the unsuspecting animals. These were large impala rams, more interested in rutting and chasing each other around and not showing any interest in their surroundings at all.

But they get catch a whiff of the nearing leopard and within seconds they scattered, so we didn’t get to watch a chase or actual capture, but the rest was fascinating and we found ourselves scarcely breathing at times as Salayexe seemed to get impossibly close to the buck.

After this she went to lie down in the riverbed again. We waited for dark, when we knew that Salayexe would be on the move again. As the sun set we used our flashes for photography and when it became completely dark we took out the spotlights for some of those magical night-time shots. She obliged us by walking up the road and then stopped for a drink. So our cameras filled very quickly.

99 EP Leopard Brendon 2017 2

Now we are back at the Lodge, very delighted to have seen the leopards on our very first outing, and hoping to follow up on them again before first light in the morning …

 

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