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!
It seemed like the only way to end this amazing safari – head out early on a birding river cruise and catch the sunrise at the same time. This we did, and man was it worth it! Seeing the sun creeping up over the river, while hundreds of birds wake up around you is a wonderful way to start a day. The highlight of the morning was a fishing half-collared kingfisher, which is always a treat. As good as the safari was though, it had to come to an end. A quick transfer back to the airport and a short plane ride,with one last view of the Victoria Falls, brought to an end a truly fantastic safari.
An early morning start found us crossing the border into neighbouring Botswana for a day cruising the Chobe River. Switching the Zambezi for the Chobe turned out to be a great decision; we spent the majority of the day surrounded by elephants! Herd after herd came down to the river to drink, and more often than not continued into the water for a good swim. This is one of my all time favourite sightings, and the camera felt it. Hundreds of elephants and thousands of images later, we crossed back into Zambia, and back home to out little stretch of the Zambezi River for a delicious dinner.
We made the most of our last morning at the falls, by again heading out early with our cameras; the rainbow really came out and played the game! We tried some new types of images and were rewarded with some lovely results. Our safari did not end there however; we made a move further down the Zambezi, to see a little more of what this magnificent river has to offer. Any day here would not be complete without a spectacular sunset, and that is exactly how we ended off another great day, cruising up the river!