Sabi Sabi yesterday, today, tomorrow

perfect timing

by Sabi Sabi on February 13, 2014

Hi everyone. This is my first of hopefully many blog posts for Sabi Sabi.

My name is Lance and I am one of the new guides here at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve. I am currently on the training program and looking forward to getting out into the bush as soon as possible! This blog is just a quick hello to introduce myself and let you know some of the things I have seen so far.

A few nights ago two other trainees and I went for a drive to learn the roads. After about 10 minutes we bumped into the animal all the guides were looking for that night……a leopard.

leopard in a tree at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari lodges

We sat and watched for a few short moments as the other guides with guests made their way into the sighting. 

leopard in a tree at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari lodges

As we made our way around the rest of the reserve we also saw one of my favorite animals, the chameleon. In the image immediately below, you can see just how impressive their camouflage really is.

tracks

chameleon while on safari at Sabi Sabi

Last night the other trainees and I were again lucky enough to go for a short drive to share information between us and get to know the reserve a bit better. Again it was only a short drive, however it was packed full of excitement.

We started off finding a Grey-headed Kingfisher, some of the guides first for the season. This little guy is showing a display of trying to look big and intimidating in this image. This was because a rattling Cisticola, a very territorial and loud bird, was alarm calling at him for being too close.

Grey-headed Kingfisher

We then continued our drive, which had a “cat” theme. One of the new trainees, Byron, was discussing why it is a good idea to look down drainage lines for cats on hot days. This is because these mini waterways have lots of overhead cover, as well as cool air due to the hot air rising out of them and being replaced by cool damp air from the sand.

As we entered one of these drainage lines and looked to the left, we couldn’t believe our luck as there, about 60 meters down from us, was a male leopard.

leopard in a river bank while on safari game drive at Sabi Sabi

After lots of excitement we tried to reposition the vehicle at a different angle but lost visual of the cat. After 15 minutes or so we decided he had gone back to sleep and that we would leave him in peace.

Shortly after this we were entering one of our other river crossings when I spotted a Boomslang across the water. This snake looked as if it had caught something, but we couldn’t quite see because of the thick bush it was in. So we decided to walk a little closer to see it rather than driving which may have scared it off due to the vehicles vibrations. It was at this exact moment the male leopard reappeared from the bushes no further than 5 meters from the vehicle.

leopard crossing river

Thanks to our tracker for the day, Mike, we managed to not get ourselves eaten. Things got even more interesting again once the leopard also heard the snake and moved over to the bush it was in to investigate. With cameras at the ready, the snake moved off into thicker cover and the leopard got bored and moved off.

leopard in a river bank while on safari game drive at Sabi Sabi

 What a great way to end the day, with one of the most beautiful animals in the African bush.

BY: LANCE VAN DE VYWER (BUSH LODGE RANGER)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

debra grimes February 13, 2014 at 1:40 pm

Lance, thanks for the photos and the narrative. I never tire of hearing and seeing the goings on there. Good luck to you!

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