A Visit to South Africa May 2011 (Part 5)
When we set out for our last afternoon drive, we were tracking
a lioness but unfortunately she had headed into a property we
couldn't traverse. While following the tracks we came across
this buffalo having a lovely mud wallow. He really looked
like he was enjoying himself.
Wildebeest were nearby while we had our sundowners.
Soon afterwards we came across a young male leopard who
neither our ranger or tracker knew. He looked very like
White Cloth's last son who we saw a year ago, shortly before
she died. When we got back to the lodge I checked the
pics on my laptop and I will now post the latest pic and one
from last year - spot marks on the forehead look the same on
If you look at the markings above his right eye they look the
same in both pictures. It's wonderful to think he has survived
the loss of his mother. The Africam database lists his birth
as mid/late December 2008 which would make him very
nearly two and a half years old now.
On our final morning we witnessed a very special sighting. We
heard lions roaring just before leaving camp and drove past
the EP waterhole to see if they were there. We eventually
found the pregnant Tsalala female walking just a hundred
yards or so away and followed her for a considerable distance.
Every now and then she would lay down for a while before
carrying on walking.
Eventually we left her and within a minute or two received a
call over the radio saying she had treed a young male leopard.
We drove back to find a growling leopard in the top branches
of a tree with the lioness at the base.
She eventually moved a short distance away and laid down.
After some time the leopard gradually moved to a lower
branch and he then took a run along the branch and launched
himself - it must have been a good ten yards high and his leap
was as far out as it was high. He hit the ground running with
the lion in hot pursuit.
Fortunately there was another tree close by and the leopard
went up it. He somehow managed to get down safely and left
a very bemused lion looking up the tree and wondering where
It was a great sighting and we were all very pleased that the
leopard made his escape. I must also add that this was a
different leopard to the one we had seen the previous evening
and that this one also had a wound in his neck, possibly from a
fight with another male leopard. One of the rangers said he
had seen this animal a few weeks previously with the wound so
at least he had survived for a while and apart from the wound
to his neck was looking in good condition.
On our way back to camp we saw this pair of Yellow Billed
Hornbills who posed very nicely for me to take their picture!
After breakfast we left EP en route to Hazyview and
while driving out of the Sabi Sand saw this leopard
tortoise on the road.
We also saw a kudu.
When we reached our next destination at Hazyview, we were
sitting in the lounge of our chalet having lunch when I saw
movement next to me. After a moment it regisitered that it
was a snake and it slithered past me moving fairly quickly.
I jumped onto the chair and then realised that I knew what
type of snake it was (Spotted Bush Snake) and it was not
venomous. Hubby rang reception and within a few minutes
the duty manager arrived and caught and removed the snake
which was released elsewhere on the property.
We had another couple of drives into the Kruger Park
and one of our last sightings was of these lovely hyena cubs
with two adults.
Hyena cubs like that were a great last sighting. Now I can't
wait until I can be in the bush again!
To see earlier blogs, click here