|The first big cat hardly 30 minutes into the first drive.|
The Timbavati region never fails to amaze. I cannot think of a single time that I left feeling disappointed. With the first rains of the season looming on the horizon I did however feel that our good safari reputation to this area may be tarnished. Although rain is always welcome for anyone close-to (and even those sad individuals not close to) nature it may put a damper, so to speak, on a dedicated photo trip.
These fears were soon put to rest when we embarked on the first afternoon’s game drive of the trip. Who would imagine that this would also turn out to be one of the best ever drives that I will go on in my career as a guide so far. Lady luck stuck her head around a termite mound when we linked up with a beautiful leopardess. Following her for the next 45 minutes without any other vehicle in sight was, as always, very special. The afternoon had so much more in store though. A radio call informing us about African Wilddogs that were sighted in the area made us head for a nearby dam where they were reportedly hunting Impala. When arriving on the scene we noticed three dogs feasting on a recently killed Impala with a White Rhino looking on. Yet remarkably this was outdone by the rest of the Dog pack circling an Impala trapped in another nearby dam. With inevitable action on the cards all we had to do was wait. When a Spotted hyena arrived on the scene the predicted events took another turn. With the dogs constantly circling the dam tiring out the Impala in the process the Hyena waited out its chance. When the hapless Impala swam near enough to the Hyena’s liking he took his chance. More Hyenas arrived on the scene and made little work of finishing off the Impala, leaving the Wilddogs as onlookers to the feast. Have a look at the below video to see the entire event unfold.
Behind the scenes clip of what happened to get the below images.
Yet still the action was not done for the afternoon. Relocating the pack again, now joined by a dozen young dogs, their numbers reached almost thirty animals. Then, in what borders on the miraculous, the earlier seen White Rhino made its way into the pack and bizarrely, lay down amongst the dogs. Totally unfazed.
Although the rest of the trip produced wonderful sightings, pleasurable chats with friends and lots of fun the sheer quality of the first drive was unbeatable. And I do not think it will be easily topped.
Below some camp pics. Small and intimate, yet very comfortable and catering to the needs of individual groups.
We do not believe that one size fits all and as a result all our safaris are designed according to the requirements of your group.If you wish to arrange your own family of photographic trip to the Timbavati please contact us here.