There was only one way to finish to such a productive safari – more leopards and lions! We managed to find a pride of 7 lions enjoying the morning sun, before coming across a large male leopard feeding on his kudu kill up in a tree, which had its token hyena underneath. Two side-striped jackals were also running the area, giving us even more to photograph. With our sad, end-of-safari-faces on, we left the feeding leopard and started back to camp to get packed up ready to leave, when our misery was rudely interrupted by yet another large male leopard! He was out on his morning patrol when we found him, but stopped when he noticed a herd of impala feeding nearby. He went into full stalk mode, sneaking his way to…sleep. He put his head down, and had a catnap, right next to the impala! We unfortunately had to leave, but what a way to end!
After all the cat action over the previous days we were searching for the big heavies, and we were more than successful. Sightings of elephant, rhino and buffalo were abundant throughout the morning, although we did manage to find 2 large male lions, which was a nice surprise. The cats made a comeback in the afternoon though; we found a female leopard walking close to the camp, followed by a male cheetah. He was on the move, and was quite difficult to keep up with, but we managed to get some good photographs of him as he went about his business – it is always a treat seeing a cheetah in this part of South Africa.
This was another busy day on safari! We started off with 5 lions having a great time in the river; the 3 youngsters were playing for close to 2 hours that made for wonderful photography. We then found a large male rhino, followed by an adult female rhino with her calf. Those sightings took up most of the morning, and we were feeling really good about getting some breakfast in, when the real treat jumped up next to us and caught a female nyala! We spotted a female leopard crouched in the grass, and within 30 seconds she was onto the unlucky nyala like a flash! It was a truly unbelievable sighting. The afternoon was also productive, with several sightings of elephants, buffalo and rhino. It was a very special day indeed, well, unless you are a nyala…
Major sightings of the day:
Pride of 5 lions, playing in the river
7 sightings of rhino
Female leopard hunting and catching a female nyala
We started the day searching for elephants, which were rather obliging, and several herds came out to pose for photographs. We also found a few old male buffalos spread out along the river, as well as a young hyena on the move. The day however belonged to the leopards, with 4 different leopard sightings! The first leopard was going about his business until he ran into 3 hyenas that were finishing up a nyala kill. The second was attempting to get her kill back from the third leopard, who was feeding in a tree above a hyena patiently waiting for any falling titbits, and the last leopard for the day was out hunting some impala! There was a lot to photograph, but we managed. This was yet another brilliant day on safari.
Major sightings of the day:
5 sightings of elephant herds
4 sightings of male buffalo
2 sightings of rhino
Male leopard in a tree with an impala kill and a hyena underneath
We started off in much the same way as we finished up on day 1: with a female leopard on the move. She soon retired to the shade of a tree so we moved on and managed to find a whole host of different animals to photograph, including herds of elephants, giraffe, a pride of lions and a couple of spotted hyena. We had ample time with each of the animals, and managed to spend a good deal of that time creating lasting images. Just as we felt we had been spoilt enough for the day, a second female leopard emerged from the bush late in the afternoon. We had a good look at her, but she was more interested in sleeping, so we let her be, giving the camera a well earned rest!