Tanda Tula - Shnoppie the leopard in South Africa
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A stroll down memory lane in pictures

Guest Writer | A Week In Pictures

Luke and Chad recently took some well-deserved time off. With both of them out of the driver seat, I jumped in to assist with this edition of A Week in Pictures.  I have had the opportunity over the last couple of months to dip into my old albums and I wanted to share some of the highlights I have had over the last 10 years with you.

I realise this is not the norm, but looking through these images brought back such amazing memories. I felt they were well worth sharing. Some of you may recognise these animals as they have woven themselves into my, and some of our guest’s lives, throughout my time here in the Timbavati-they all hold a particular special place in my heart.

The Machaton pride, pictured with their cubs, were such a force in my early days at Tanda Tula. Unfortunately, their pride numbers slowly dwindled and eventually the last lioness past away a few years ago. They kept this particular litter of cubs in the Nthlaralumi river not far from camp and we were very spoilt over this time with them. An early highlight in my career, and I will never forget the moment, was when Scotch called in white lions! It was a cold and miserable day and I feared the guides would not find much in the weather conditions, but I didn’t count on the “Scotch” factor. True to his nature, he never gave up and found a new pride to our area that contained two white lions. This pride did very well over the years and raised both these white cubs successfully, eventually they moved further north and back into Kruger.

Tanda Tula - Machaton lion cub

Tanda Tula - Pride of lions in the Greater Kruger

Tanda Tula - Machaton lions drinking in the Greater Kruger

Tanda Tula - White lions spotted on the best safari in South Africa

The Timbavati has always enjoyed a healthy elephant population and following these herds we almost always find large elephant bulls. These large grey behemoths are really something to behold. Up close they are incredible! I have been extremely fortunate over the years to see some incredible specimens. I had a particularly special moment with a large bull one afternoon while enjoying sundowners at a dam. He spotted us from across the water and proceeded to swim across to come to have a better look at us. It was similar to watching a submarine with his trunk extended above the water.

Tanda Tula - swimming elephants on safari in the Timbavati

I have always enjoyed tracking and locating a leopard. I think growing up in the lowveld and experiencing many trips to the Kruger Park has been the main reason why. These animals were always fairly elusive and high up on the highlights reel. One of my favourite images has to be of a young male leopard named Schnopie who grew up in and around Tanda Tula Safari Camp.He used to keep the housekeepers seriously busy as he was always found sleeping on the pool loungers! I managed to get this close up of him just to the west of camp and it must be one of my most cherished memories.

Tanda Tula - Shnoppie the leopard in South Africa

I hope you enjoy the images and look forward to capturing some more over the upcoming weeks!

Dale

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