Our experiences in Africa this year are hard to describe and will be impossible to forget. The leopards were the stars again this year but the lions treated all of us to some unbelievable moments as well. Watching them out hunting in the early morning light was just stunning!
Watching a big cat stalk prey is always awesome to see and this year we even had some very close calls with the prey escaping by a few feet. The big cats are not the most successful hunters in Africa after all. Sometimes you miss the actual take down but arrived a short time after, some of our group watched a pride of lions finish a giraffe. A pride of 16 lions moved into our reserve during our stay so there were lots of opportunities but like all lions, sleeping took up most of the lions daily schedule (16 is a little larger than the average pride BTW).
This area of the Sabi Sands is so rich in wildlife predators and their prey that it wasn't unusual to see both lions and leopards on the hunt in the same day or the same drive. Also some first timers well tell me that they are worried about seeing any wildlife, I mean anything, they are concerned that will get a chance to see an impala!?! At our location we see the big five in a single drive. Impalas? We see thousands with dozens of photo opportunities for rutting males in a single day. They are the most common mammals in the Sabi Sands BTW.
This year leopards treated us to a real show by demonstrating just how perfectly their camouflage works by sitting and watching us search for them, calmly sitting there just a few yards away! Amazing!
Watching the leopards stalk prey, usually impala, through tall grass is just an amazing thing to watch. They silently slink towards an unsuspecting impala low to the ground until they are up close before they pounce. It is pretty common to see leopards hunt in the early mornings at our locations. We had a few encounters in absolutely perfect morning light. The main advantage of a private reserve in addition to off-roading is that we leave for our drive as early or late as we wish. There are no entry and exit restrictions for our tour. At some parks in Africa you have to be out of the park just when the best light of the day happens, and most parks don't allow off-roading.
If you enjoy spending time with leopards and cubs this is the tour. This is always a highlight of a trip, and had a few great opportunities this year. Leopard cubs are some of the most photogenic creatures on the planet as far as I am concerned.
We had a great run of weather this tour, nice cloudy days with only a few wet sessions and never enough rain to cancel a game drive. Insects as usual were all on holiday again this year but I did get a report of one lone mosquito that decided to stay in town and work bothering one of the participants.
2018 dates have been confirmed with a couple more days than this years tour. There are already a few spaces gone and they tour is limited to 8 participants. Let me know right away if you are interested in joining us.
Follow this link for more info on next years tour: