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Chitabe: Lions, Landscapes and Leopard
From Brendon Cremer at Chitabe
Last night we heard the lions calling for most of the night and they were particularly vocal just before dawn. We set out in the dark as early as possible to go and find them.
Shortly after, we found lion tracks very close to camp and followed these for about half an hour. Just as the sun was beginning to creep over the horizon, we spotted two huge black maned lions lying on termite mounds. The rising sun created a beautiful light behind and around them and they started to wake up and rubbed their heads together in greeting. To make the photography even more spectacular, they started roaring and the mist issuing from their mouths created a very dramatic scene.
Once up, they started walking and we followed as they patrolled their entire territory. During this time, we also photographed more wattles cranes. Following on from yesterdays dance to impress the females, the males put on an elaborate display: throwing grass and sticks into the air with their wings spread wide whilst calling throughout the performance.
After lunch, we headed out into the bush again in search of more animals. Whilst driving we all noticed that the scenery on our route was as impressive as finding animals and decided to focus on that instead. Plains full of zebra, giraffe, elephant, and buffalo created the perfect setup for magnificent landscape shots.
Towards evening, a herd of wildebeest came running across an open area kicking around and above them. With the setting sun behind them, the red glow again created the perfect photographic opportunities.
Bird watchers were also in for a treat as coucal, yellow billed storks, marsh harriers, kingfishers could be photographed.
Heading towards camp, we detoured past the leopard and impala kill that was spotted yesterday. This time, she allowed some lovely photographs of her feeding on the impala before retreating behind local shrubbery.
This evening, we are sitting under the sparking African stars listening to the lions we spotted earlier roar, sharing stories and about to tuck into our evening meal.
After such an enjoyable day, who knows what surprises await us tomorrow...