Phenomenal 6-day safari at Leopard Hills

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The last 6 days of safari at Leopard Hills have been absolutely brilliant. Hundreds of elephant have moved into our traversing area and we see these massive pachyderms all over the reserve.

Elephants crossing the Sand river

Elephants crossing the Sand river

Elephant family drinking

Elephant family drinking

The appearance of two individual male cheetahs has had everyone in great excitement. On an early morning safari we watched the older of the two males drinking water in perfect golden sunlight in the southern part of our reserve.

Cheetah drinking

Cheetah drinking

The younger cheetah was seen 2 hours later scent marking until he decided to climb a high Apple Leaf tree. This was a rare sighting indeed and as cheetahs (unlike leopards) don’t normally climb trees.

Giraffes in pink light

Giraffes in pink light

The Sand River has been a constant source of great game viewing and photographic opportunities.  Buffalo, giraffe, nyala, bush buck and hundreds of different species of birds were viewed and photographed in the last 6 days.

Leopard cub in a tree

Leopard cub in a tree

As per usual the leopard sightings have been amazing, with no less than 9 individuals viewed. We watched leopards stalking, marking territory, feeding and sleeping high up Marula Trees. Once again the Mambiri female leopard and her cub were the jewels in the crown of leopard viewing. Seeing a 6-month-old leopard cub completely oblivious to our presence must surely rank as one of the greatest sights ever.

Ximungwe Pride females

Ximungwe Pride females

Furthermore we viewed both the Ximungwe Pride and Ottawa Pride of lions on numerous occasions. Two of the individual females from the Ximungwe Pride were seen mating with the Mapogo Male lions.

The last great sighting was seeing the pack of 3 wild dogs feeding on a huge male impala. The dogs ate as quickly as possible (due to the large number of lions in the area) and when they left their kill there was more than half of the carcass left. The following hour was unbelievable as white-backed, hooded and Lappet-faced vultures all move in to share in the feast. Other visitors include a Tawny Eagle, Yellow-Billed Kite and 4 Pied Crows. Posted by James , Photographer by –  Marius Coetzee

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