2014 TAILOR MADE photo Safari to the BIG CAT RESERVE, NGALA and MALA MALA, South Africa

August 10, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
We have just completed a tailor made photo safari which took in some of the most productive private reserves in South Africa. All locations were very productive - Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs as well as the African Wilddog and a great Spotted Hyaena den !! were some of the predator highlights.

The "Big Cat Reserve" - (Tshukudu Game Reserve) was once again very productive as far as getting off to a good start regarding photo techniques, night photography, off camera flash and star photography. The final morning was spent observing the two cheetah boys, Floppy and Hunters on their Impala kill.

Thanks very much to the Tshukudu staff and Deon our ranger for looking after us.

Ngala Private Game Reserve was up next, a 4 night stay at this reserve produced a good variety of sightings, Buffalo, Hippo, Elephant, Giraffe, Impala, Greater Kudu and some great bird life. The predator sightings were amazing, with two Leopard sightings. One of the Tekwane youngsters got rather close to a pair of Black Mambas, and the young Leadwood Tom passed through the Timbavati river. The Skoro pride had a Male Lion in tow and the Birmingham pride showed off their young cubs in a beautiful open area. The Spotted Hyaena den was very active with a number of youngsters, my personal favourite being a rather dark coloured and very inquisitive individual :) The highlight however had to be three sightings of the African Wilddogs, two were without the puppies, and one with them in tow, what a great opportunity to see these endangered carnivores and to be able to spend some time photographing them, resulting in the best Wilddog puppy photos yet !

Thanks very much to all the Ngala staff and to Steve our tracker and Amy our ranger.

Final stop on the tour was a three night stay at Mala Mala Private Game Reserve. Our stay started with a bang when we got to spend some of the afternoon with a pair of male elephants fighting for dominance, these were not fully grown adults and thus it was not too serious but a great experience to watch and photograph. We then spent some time with the Kikilezi female leopard and her two youngsters - good news that the second youngster had not been killed by another Leopard as we had feared on the previous trip. We managed to have a good view of them drinking before they moved off into a thick drainage line. Before heading back to camp we came across the Eyrefield pride on the hunt but left them and turned in for the night.

Things from here got more interesting - in the morning we found the Eyrefield pride in front of camp on a fresh Buffalo kill. This was followed up by a sighting of the Princess Alice Pans male Leopard (PAP) and his son the Newington Male Leopard, both at a Sausage tree with a fresh Bushbuck Kill. Not more than a Kilometer away we found two more Leopards, the River Rocks male and the Tamboti female, also near the remains of a Kill - this time an Impala.

Over the next two days we returned to watch and observe these stories unfold, but we also managed to bump into the Airstrip Male leopard and the Ostrich Koppies female leopard who had two very small cubs with her, taking our total Leopard count to 11 !! On top of this the Marthly pride took over the Buffalo kill from the Eyrefield pride and we got to see the Styx pride too. A single Cheetah male was also seen on our final afternoon.

Thanks also to the Mala Mala staff and to Jonno our ranger for looking after us so well

Top notch sightings at all places and a very successful safari !!

Thanks also to Rob & Sue for making their 4th safari with us, it was an absolute pleasure to have had you back again - looking forward to the next one.

Enjoy some photos from the trip and a short video of the Ostrich Koppies female Leopard with her two small cubs.

Best wishes to all

Stu


Short video of the Ostrich Koppies female Leopard cubs at Mala Mala


Young Leopard - Big Cat Reserve

Porcupine - Big Cat Reserve

Lion yawning - Big Cat Reserve

Young Lioness - Big Cat Reserve

Leopard at sunset - Big Cat Reserve

Floppy the Cheetah - Big Cat Reserve

Three Banded Plover - Ngala Game Reserve

Tekwane youngster - Ngala Game Reserve

Young Giraffe - Ngala Game Reserve

Young Giraffe suckling - Ngala Game Reserve

Leadwood tom - Ngala Game Reserve

Hippo and ox peckers - Ngala Game Reserve

Greater Kudu bulls - Ngala Game Reserve

African Wilddog running - Ngala Game Reserve

Spotted Hyaenas at their den - Ngala Game Reserve

A female member of the Skoro pride and a Pelwane male - Ngala Game Reserve

Pelwane male - Ngala Game Reserve

Pelwane male - Ngala Game Reserve

African wild dog pups - Ngala Game Reserve

African Wilddog pup - Ngala Game Reserve

African wild dog pups - Ngala Game Reserve

African wild dog puppy running

African wild dog pups - Ngala Game Reserve

Male Lion - Ngala Game Reserve

A young cub from the Birmingham pride - Ngala Game Reserve

Females from the Birmingham pride suckling their youngsters - Ngala Game Reserve

Young cubs from the Birmingham pride - Ngala Game Reserve

Hyaena cub near the den site - Ngala Game Reserve

Hyaena cub - Ngala Game Reserve

Male Elephants sparring - Mala Mala

Kikilezi female Leopard and cub - Mala Mala

The second cub of the Kikilezi female Leopard - Mala Mala

Kikilezi female Leopard - Mala Mala

Young males from the Eyrefield pride play in the sand river - Mala Mala

The River rocks Male Leopard - Mala Mala

Members of the Eyrefield pride on a buffalo kill in the Sand River - Mala Mala

Young Lioness from the Eyrefield pride at the buffalo kill - Mala Mala

Eyrefield pride with the buffalo kill - Mala Mala

River rocks male Leopard - Mala Mala

Tamboti female Leopard - Mala Mala

Tamboti female Leopard  - Mala Mala

River rocks male Leopard with kill - Mala Mala

River rocks male leopard with Impala kill - Mala Mala

River rocks male leopard resting in a tree - Mala Mala

Spotted Hyaena with a piece of the kill - Mala Mala

Newington male Leopard - Mala Mala

Princess Alice Pans male Leopard (PAP) - Mala Mala

Airstrip male Leopard - Mala Mala

Young cub of the Ostrich Koppies female Leopard - Mala Mala

Cheetah - Mala Mala

Cheetah yawn - Mala Mala

Female Steenbok - Mala Mala

Zebra - Mala Mala

Red Crested Korhaan - Mala Mala




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