We had our guests hooked on Lake Panic and saw a very nice verity of birds even it being as hot as it was. We gave our guests each a pair of binos and a bird book and they had to identify three birds on their own which they accomplished in no time. This African Jacana caught a butterfly for lunch and we saw Spurwinged Geese, the local Bushbuck male, Pied Kingfisher and lots more birds.
By now it was 16:00 and we had to get moving to exit the park at Phabeni gate and along the S1 we saw our first Giraffe for the day and found these Dabchicks in breeding colours at Nyamundwa dam.
We reached the cross road of S1 & S3 an hour before gate close and I informed all that we had ample time to have sundowners at Albasini ruins thus we should take a short drive on the S3 towards Pretoruiskop. We proceeded down the road for 1.5 km and made a u-turn at some Impala. Driving back towards the S3 about 200m from the Impala one of the guys shouted Leopard.
She had just climbed this tree and started posing for us.
This area has lots of thickets and tall grasses so photographing her on the ground was not that easy and with the adrenalin rush I also forgot to set the camera to 800 ISO to compensate for the overcast conditions, so please excuse the quality.
She got out the tree and moved on in the direction of the Impala, sat down and watched us for a while, to make sure we could see her and proceeded to climb another tree.
She lay in this tree for a short while, surveying and keeping an eye on the Impala, descended this tree and went into stalk mode.
At this point the Impala had moved off into the thickets close to the road and just visible. One of the guys notified all that we had two Elephant bulls approaching us from Pretoruiskop side on the Leopards side of the road and very close to the road.
This photo was taken with min zoom 100 of the one Ellie passing the car and to top it off a vehicle approached us from the front and my brother in-law waved them down to tell them about the Leopard. These people saw the Ellies and did not bother to stop and proceeded on their way to Pretoruiskop.
The Elephants had walked between the Leopard and the Impala and luckily for her and us they did not see or picked up her sent that would have spoilt everything. The Ellies were about 20m past our car when all hell broke loose, Impala running in all directions and giving their alarm calls and with that upsetting the Ellies. They started trumpeting and looked in our direction ready to charge. My brother in-law said we should look for the Leopard and that he would keep an eye on these two fellows. It felt like an eternity but after a while she reappeared from the thickets and decided to come and brag with her success.
The light was really bad now but at least I got one good shot of her taking a rest.
As she reappeared we where joined by two other vehicles, one a parks open drive taking people for a night drive, she dragged the Impala towards the first tree we spotted her in which was about 200m from the place she had killed. At a stage something disturb her and she ran across the road behind the car into some thickets and what appeared from the left of her, a White Rhino, we decided we had disturb her long enough and we had only 15 min to get to Phabeni gate before close. Needless to say we spent two seconds at Albasini and made the gate just in time.
What a trip and especially for our first timers.