While we had been watching the action happening around the leopard ménage a trois the night before we had missed the action with the lions. The Southern pride had managed to pull down a huge buffalo bull and when we found them the next morning they were already engorged. The sighting was busy as there were many rangers wanting to get in and see the action. I decided that it would probably be better to leave them and come back in the afternoon when we could spend a little more quality time with them.
That afternoon when we got into the sighting we were greeted by the pungent smell of day old buffalo that had been sitting out in the hot African sun all day. We weaved our way between the sprawled out lions that were sleeping with full bellies and positioned ourselves where we had the best view of the action without the nasal intrusion.
Most of the lions were swollen with buffalo but there were a few that had a little space to fill. Two of the females and two of the cubs fed as we watched and then eventually gave up only to fall asleep on the carcass. The vultures lined the trees waiting for their chance to get stuck into the scraps.
After watching them and explaining the dynamic of this super pride to the guests we left and went to find a good spot to watch what was going to be a beautiful sunset. As we were about to get to one of my favourite view points on the reserve our drinks stop was cancelled by a beautiful male leopard that was lying just off the road. This was a welcome surprise and we watched and waited as he eyed out some impala in the distance.
This particular male is not one that we see regularly and we suspect that he came in from Kruger National Park. When we first met him he was skittish and very shy of the vehicles but as time has gone on we have gained his trust and he no longer sees the vehicles as a threat. It has taken nearly 6 months for him to relax and we still have to give him his space but it is nice to know that we have treated him with the respect he deserves and this has opened up another leopard for us to photograph, view and study. We followed him for a little while before we left him to carry on with his evening activities and we headed back to the lodge for a well-deserved dinner.
That however was not the end of the evening. Along the way back to the lodge my tracker, Solly, showed off some of his skills with the spotlight by finding a scorpion in a tree and a poisonous frog called a banded rubber frog.