Tuesday 5 August 2014

Sabi Sands: February 2010 (Part 2)

This is the second episode of my long overdue trip report for this safari I enjoyed with my wife. If you need to catch up on part 1, click HERE first.

We were up early on the 2nd day of our stay in Leopard Hills, and the anticipation was high was we headed out on our morning game drive. Our first proper sighting was a small breeding herd of African Elephants. They allowed us quite close, which resulted in some interesting photographic opportunities.

We hit the road again after getting confirmation on the radio that a male leopard called Tekwaan male had been found moving in a drainage line. Every part of Africa has its own appeal - the wide open savanna of East Africa is awesome, but there's something equally special to the dense bushveld of the South African Lowveld region.

The Tekwaan male leopard was proving quite elusive, after getting moving again the vehicles that were in the sighting lost him in the drainage line, and we had to do some searching of our own. Through some clever prediction of the heading of the leopard as he was patrolling, our friend and guide Marius Coetzee stopped the vehicle in a dry riverbed and we waited in silence as he and his tracker scanned around. Moments later, our quarry popped his head up immediately to our right, not 20 meters from our position.

We waited patiently, and Tekwaan moved down the embankment and into the riverbed.

Unfortunately for us, he proceeded to walk in front of our vehicle as we slowly followed along the sandy riverbed. Overtaking him would disturb him and we let him carry on his patrol. He stopped for a drink in a puddle in the river - which would have made for awesome photos from the front!! I had to settle for some tail shots...

He finished his drink, turned around, and strolled into the thickets. The end of a riveting sighting, albeit not the best position for us in terms of photography...

We returned to the lodge for a scrumptious brunch on the deck overlooking the magnificently green bushveld...

I hope you enjoyed this post. Stay tuned for part 3, coming soon!

Morkel Erasmus

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