The last week of game viewing in the western sector of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve was once again nothing short of sensational.
There were so many highlights, but the biggest of them all was without a doubt seeing wild dog pups in our traversing area for the first time in more than seven years. The pack of six African Wild Dogs moved back into our area last week and luckily for us, they moved their den site deep into our area. I had a fantastic sighting of three adult dogs and seven puppies at their den site.
The lion sightings have yet again been phenomenal and we saw lions almost daily. The Ximungwe pride of lions introduced us to another four cubs, which now brings the total cubs in this pride to seven. On an afternoon safari my guests and I had an incredible sighting of six cubs, all competing to nurse from a single female.
The coalition of male lions known as the Mapogos was seen frequently and spent three days feeding on a huge buffalo they caught in the Sand River. After the lions moved off, we enjoyed great sightings of scavengers including hooded vultures and a lone spotted hyena.
Not to be outdone by the other predators, the leopard sightings were also frequent and we viewed and photographed several different individuals. My favourite images of the “spotted cats” for the last week were of two different males seen on safari.
The golden morning light offered us some great photographic opportunities and transformed animals that are normally difficult to photograph, like white rhino, into great photographic subjects. I was fortunate to see three young male rhinos waking up one morning completely covered by thousands of little midges.
Birding was also great and even though the summer migrants are long since departed, various raptors and the ever present Lilac-breasted Rollers provided us some great bird photography.
Plains game including Burchell’s zebra, wildebeest and giraffe were also abundant and provided my guests with one of the most holistic safari experiences that Africa has to offer.
Until Next Time
Specialist Safari Guide and Wildlife Photographer Marius Coetzee
For more of Marius, see his Facebook page.