05 August 2009

Loads of leopards in South Africa

We just finished this year's Extreme Leopards tour in South Africa, and it was fantastic. Not only did we see 16 different leopards in 10 days (!), we also had a wonderful group which made it even more enjoyable. The first camp we stayed in we had completely to ourselves, which was really nice. Dallas, Mike and Retief, our excellent guides, did a superb job finding leopards for us, helped by some of the best trackers in the region. Every now and then we had to do some serious off-road driving to find our elusive subjects, but that only added to the safari experience; exciting and fun! The days after a large elephant kill we had more difficulties finding leopards, due to a sudden increase of predators in the area, in particular hyena and lion, so we decided to spend more time on some of the other animal species. But it didn't take long before the leopards showed up again and we were presented with excellent sightings.

The last 3 days of the trip we spent at another lodge in a different area. Even though we were still in the same park, the habitat was completely different and made for a nice change for our images. Our leopard sightings got even better here, with one female and a cub, and another female with two cubs - exactly what we were all hoping for! On one day, one of our vehicles even made a 12-hour long game drive with non-stop action from one of the females and her cub - an unforgettable experience. Thanks to Chris, Gareth and Graham, our expert guides for all the hard work!

We all returned to Johannesburg with more leopards shots than we could count, and six pounds heavier from all the good food our chef Chedrick prepared for us... Four people from this year's group already indicated that they would like to join us again on this same trip next year - we're already looking forward to shooting with you again!

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