Thursday, August 2, 2012

LIONS & LEOPARDS of Mala Mala Photo Safari July 2012

Our 3rd "Lions & Leopards of Mala Mala" Photo Safari has just ended and we had yet another amazing time with new opportunities resulting in some really unique photos.

The Big Cat Reserve was our first stop, again, what an amazing place this is, getting up close to the big cats of Africa is something really special, to see how they move, behave and interact is incredible.

The Cheetahs went out with us on a drive and made a couple of attempts to catch some Impala but no luck for Floppy and Hunters this time round :)

Jabula and Bagheera continued with their antics at the Leopard camp and we finally managed to get the GO PRO footage of Bagheera coming down the leadwood tree, many thanks to Jaco for the strategic (and safe) placement of the Go Pro HERO 2 !! and for another fantastic stay at the Big Cat Reserve.

The Caracal session was great again and Teneray found herself in a new tree for photos which worked very well. The sunset jumping shots were a great success too.

We then moved into the Kruger National Park for 4 nights at Satara. On our way in on the Orpen road and next to the Timbavati River, we were treated to a great sighting of a big male Leopard that had killed a waterbuck.

5 Cheetahs were seen and the Ngotso Lion Pride - sprawled out all over the road. A special sighting was a herd of 46 Elephants coming down to drink at Ngotso Dam.

Birdlife was good again and we had a visit from one of the African Wildcats that have taken up residence inside Satara Camp.

Then we headed off for our final 3 nights at Mala Mala.

No cheetahs this time but we had a feast of Leopards and the Eyrefield Pride in the riverbed near to the den of the tiny Lion cubs we saw on the last trip.

We had a final sighting of the Cape Hunting Dog den and pack but it looks like they have now moved from the den site, hopefully they will be back or seen on the move, what a special treat to have seen them on all of our trips this year.

A total of 9 Leopards were seen, the female with tiny cub, the Kekelezi female and her cub, the Airstrip Male, the West street male, the Bicycle crossing Male, the Jakkalsdraai female and the Tamboti Female !!

The highlight was our 2 and a half hour insight into the life of a female leopard who had killed a small kudu and then went off to her den to collect her cubs to bring back to the kill. This was the female we saw on the first trip where we had a brief sighting of her tiny cubs, and the same female we saw crossing the Sand River on the last tour.

Her journey from the kill to her den and back to the kill ended up in two river crossings, a stand off with the Jakkalsdraai female Leopard and then a stand off with a Hyaena. It really gave us all a special insight into the extremely tough life of a female Leopard and the difficulties she faces trying to raise her cubs. Unfortunately it looks like one of the cubs has died since the family was last seen, lets hope that the remaining cub makes it !!

Many many thanks to Bens our ranger, without his driving skills and incredible knowledge we would not have witnessed this special event - thanks Bens !!

Best wishes from us all at WILD4

enjoy !!

Short Movie Trailer from the Tour

Bicycle Crossing Male - Mala Mala

Bicycle Crosing Male - Mala Mala

Eyrefield Lioness crossing the Sand River

Tiny Leopard cub - Mala Mala

Leopard and cub with Hyaena - Mala Mala

Leopard with cub - Mala Mala

Leopard drinking - Mala Mala

Leopard crossing the Sand River with her cub

Elephants - Mala Mala

Elephants - Mala Mala

Elephants Mala Mala

Eyrefield Lioness and cub - Mala Mala

Lion cubs playing - Mala Mala

Lion cub - Mala Mala

Rhino - Mala Mala

Leopard spot pattern - Mala Mala

Cape Buffalo - Mala Mala

West Street Male Leopard - Mala Mala

Airstrip Male Leopard - Mala Mala

Tamboti Female Leopard - Mala Mala

White Backed Vulture

White Backed Vulture

Male Lion and large cub - Big Cat Reserve

Male Lion yawn - Big Cat Reserve

Bagheera the female Leopard - Big Cat Reserve

Jabula the male Leopard - Big Cat Reserve

Hunters the Cheetah - Big Cat Reserve

Hunters the Cheetah - Big Cat Reserve

Dongo the Cape Hunting Dog - Big Cat Reserve

Teneray the Caracal - Big Cat Reserve

The big Male Leopard at the Timbavati River in Kruger Park

Female Cheetah crossing road near Sweni Waterhole in Kruger Park

Female Cheetah in Tree - Kruger Park

Elephant dust bathing - Kruger Park

Blue Wildebeest - Kruger Park

Kudu Bull - Kruger Park

Lilac Breasted Roller - Kruger Park

Southern Giraffe - Kruger Park

Purple Roller - Kruger Park

African Wildcat - Satara Camp, Kruger Park

Pearl Spotted Owlet - Kruger Park

Yellow Billed Stork - Kruger Park

Bull Hippo - Sweni River - Kruger Park

Chacma Baboon - Kruger park

Bull Elephant at Ngotso South, Kruger Park

Big Herd of Elephants at Ngotso Dam - Kruger Park

Lioness from the Ngotso Pride - Kruger Park

Young Male Waterbuck - Kruger Park

Cape Hunting Dog Puppy - Mala Mala

Lion cubs playing in the Sand River - Mala Mala

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