Sandibe Photo Safari Group 1 part 1

17th September 2017
June is a Amazing time in Botswana and I went to Sandibe Lodge in the Okavango Delta to host the first of 3 groups from the US to host them on a Photographic safari.

After arriving at Sandibe and meeting the group we headed off on drive, we started off with some general game and a troop of Baboons and a Bachelor herd of Impala, it was a great way to start and get everyone on the correct settings for Wildlife Photography.

A Short While later we found a Big Male leopard feeding on a Wildebeest, by the time we had negotiated the water crossing the Leopard was moving off into the thickets to go and rest so we only managed to get a few images of him before he disappeared.

Later on that afternoon we returned to the kill to find that it had been taken over by a big Hyena and the Leopard had left the area, the Hyena was feeling sleepy and had struck a cute pose as it lay there.

A couple of Side striped Jackals were also hovering around the kill and as they trotted around nervously we tried a few panning images of them, a few moments later a big Elephant bull came walking onto the scene and the sleepy Hyena had to make a run for it !

After a great start to our safari we headed back to the lodge, the lodge rooms are amazing and after dinner I tried a few star images from the room deck.

The following morning we set off on drive and barely 50 meters out of the camp we found Lion tracks and the decision was made to follow them. After about 25 minutes of tracking we found 3 Lionesses in a small clearing, we also heard a Lion roaring in the distance. The Lionesses seemed to be moving away from the other Lion roars and they weren’t hanging around, we followed the lions for as long as we could until they got to a channel of water we could not cross over and here the Lions disappeared into the distance, we had gotten some great images of them.

After leaving the 3 Lionesses we found another Lioness and a young Male Lion, they were a bit shy and stuck to the thickets but we did manage to get some good images of them.

After leaving the second set of Lions we photographed various herds of Zebra and some Vultures that were hanging out close to the Wildebeest kill from the day before but now there was nothing left !

On our way back to the lodge we bumped into multiple herds of Elephant getting some good Images along the way.

For the afternoon drive we headed off to the local Hyena den, when we got there we found a adult female with her baby lying at the entrance to the den, the youngster was peeping at us from behind its mom providing us with some great photo opportunities.

We spent quite some time watching the antics of the Hyenas before getting a call on the radio that a female Leopard had been found so we headed off to have a look, the Leopard was lying on a fallen over tree trunk in the late afternoon light and she allowed us to get only a few images before jumping down off the tree trunk and wandered off into the thickets where she lay down in the tall grass, the sunset was amazing and we took a few images as the sun was disappearing over the Horizon.

After our sundowners we set off back to camp spotting a bush baby along the way as well as a Scops owl that we photographed as it sat perched close by, from here we made our way back to the lodge.

After dinner I tried a few star trails from the room deck again with some great results.
The following morning I woke up early the next morning to photograph the stars again, the Milky way was now hanging over the Western Horizon and was spectacular to see.

Later on that morning we set off on drive, we photographed a nervous herd of Wildebeest and a short way off we saw why, fresh Lion tracks on the road ! We were wanting to find Leopard so we left the Lion tracks and continued our search.

As luck would have it we found the big territorial male Leopard of the area, he was patrolling his territory and was moving fast, scent marking as he went, we did our best to keep up with him as he crossed the water channels, at one point he bumped into a small group of Red Letchwe who leap away over the water, spectacular to see how high they can jump !

After leaving the Leopard we photographed some Zebra and other general game before finding a female Leopard, she was on the hunt and made a few spectacular hunting attempts on small Francolin, her speed and leap was quite impressive !

We followed the Leopard for quite some time before she eventually lay down in the deep shade of some trees for a rest, it was at this point that we decided to head back to the Lodge for breakfast, it had been a great morning

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