Simbavati photo Safari 11-15 March 2015 part 2

23rd March 2015
For the afternoon drive we decided to follow up on some Lion Tracks that had been seen close to Simbavati, on the way we saw a Large elephant Bull just after he had finished his afternoon drink, we took a few images of him before continuing our search for the Lions.

After a long search we managed to briefly see 2 young male lions, they were not in the mood to hang around and they trotted off into the bush with us unable to get any pictures of them, undeterred we went for a Sundowner drink and a leg stretch before heading back to camp for dinner.

The Following morning we headed to the Southern part of the reserve, it wasn’t long before tracks for a group of Lions had been found and the search was on ! During the search we saw a nice variety of general game as well as a few Elephants and then we found Ntombi female Leopard up in a tree, she was perched nicely in the tree looking out at the surrounding bush, we look some great images of her as she intently gazed in our general directrion, while this was going on another team of trackers had found the Mashaton coalition of 4 Male lions so we left Ntombi to go and look at the Lions.

The Lions were lying up in the shade of a Wattle tree, 2 of them were fast asleep while the other two had their heads up, we got some great portrait images of these 2 before they eventually also put their heads down for a nap. We left the Lions and headed back to the camp for breakfast and a final session of Lightroom.

The afternoon we decided to head back to view Ntombi the female Leopard, on the way we photographed some general game as well as a big bull giraffe as he walked through the bush, we found Ntombi at the base of the tree she was in earlier in the morning, she was having a nap but her sleep was disturbed by a young Spotted Hyena that wandered closer to see if there was a free meal to be had, Ntombi climbed back into the tree to get away from the pesky intruder ! The Hyena spent some time under the tree and we could hear in eating some of the scraps from Ntombi’s kill that had fallen onto the ground, we then got some images of Ntombi in the tree using some fill flash and the spotlight, eventually it was time to head back to the Lodge, time had flow past very quickly !

On the way back we stopped for a Quick drink next to a beautiful old dead tree and I couldn’t resist taking a few images of it with the stars as a backdrop.

The following morning was our last drive at Simbavati, the past 4 days had flown by far too quickly, we were still wanting to see the pack of Wild dogs that frequent the area and we started our search for them. Along the way we spent some time photographing a pair of African Hawk Eagles in the morning sunrise, then it was the turn of a Tawny Eagle that had perched close to the road and allowed us to photograph it as it preened itself, we then photographed a pair of Yellow billed Hornbills in the morning light with some dramatic dark clouds in the background.

After a few hours the dogs had been found and we went to go and have a look at them, they had just finished feeding on a nyala and when we got to them it was nap time, their bellies full and the heat starting to build the Dogs lay in the shade, we got some images of them when they lifted their heads to scan the bush.

It was time to go back to the lodge for breakfast and to say our goodbyes, what a fantastic 4 days of Wildlife photography ! Thanks to Russell, Sam,Derrick, Chris and Riaan for your company at Simbavati.

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