Thursday morning rolled around and we were back on the truck at 5:30am for our last safari in Pilanesberg. We had a sighting of a new animal very early on in this drive – a crocodile.
He was hard to spot at first but once you saw him, he was unmistakably not a floating log.
We encountered the black backed jackal again, this time in a family group.
Plus, of course, repeat sightings and photos of many of the animals we had seen previously. Then our guide got a message over the radio: a leopard had been sighted and he had just made a kill. We were going to drive straight over to his location, stopping for nothing. I mentioned previously that we had just about managed to glimpse a leopard but we would certainly appreciate being able to photograph one. And we did!
And if you ever wondered how effective the leopard’s spots are as camouflage on a rocky hillside, see how easy it is to make out his face in this one…
I was asked what kind of camera Ishbel was using for her wildlife photos, so thought I’d provide a full catalogue of the optical equipment in use over the last few days.
1. Nikon D5100 DSLR Camera Body
2. Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5 – 6.3 Di G2 Lens
3. Olympus Tough TG-5 Compact Camera (My leaving gift from work colleagues – Thanks, guys!)
4. Pentax 6.5×21 Papilio II Binoculars
5. Nikkon DX 18-135mm F/3.5 – 5.6G ED-IF AF-S Lens
6. An iPhone – just in case
7. Apple lightning SD card reader – this gets all the day’s photos onto the iPad for review and editing.
So, that was our last game drive of our stay at Kwa Maritane. We finished the day off with a lovely dinner and a nice bottle of Franschhoek red wine – Anthonij Rupert Optima. We have had a great stay here and would recommend it to anyone looking for a safari experience without breaking the bank.
We’re off back to Johannesburg in the morning for our last couple of days in South Africa before heading on to the next leg, flying to Hong Kong on Sunday.