From Ben Cranke
We followed two sets of leopard tracks from the Lodge this morning, feeling certain that these belonged to the courtship couple that we saw previously. The tracks indicated that they were walking at speed, and when we caught up with them, they were still marching along, not distracted by anything.
We followed them as they proceeded rapidly through dense bush, and then reappeared in clear areas, giving us ample opportunities for photography.
Eventually they stopped.
They had spotted a warthog who promptly ran away, and simultaneously we heard that a large herd of buffalo were only one hundred meters away.
To add to the excitement, the Styx pride of lions were in close pursuit of the buffalo, and when we caught up with them they were no more than 20 meters behind the buffalo.
The buffalo ran through thick bush with the lions behind them, and with us trying to anticipate and get into position to photograph the action.
We found ourselves in the middle of the hunt, with noise, dust, snorting and stamping all around. As the lions attacked, the buffalo grouped into a tight formation, lowered their horns and together they launched a counter attack. We found the noise, dust and drama quite terrifying, and our cameras captured the action second by second.
The hunt moved as the lions attacked and the buffalo retaliated. As they moved, they encroached on the area where the two leopards were resting. Spotting the lions, the female leopard fled, and the male followed, also somewhat hurriedly.
The drama between the lions and buffalo continued until it was time for us to return to the Lodge.
After lunch, some Lightroom work, and a lecture from Brandon, we were ready to get out and capture some more of the action.
We headed back to the lions. When we found them, they were lying contentedly in the grass, paws in the air, tummies full and dozing peacefully.
There was no sign of a kill or carcass ... they had finished everything! We were able to get really good photographs of the calm after the stormy morning.
Tomorrow we are hoping to catch up with the leopards again - maybe they are still together ...