One thing we were not short of in Madikwe were lion sightings during 2015. The lion population is thriving in the reserve and appears in all forms, from male coalitions, to individual males to the potential formation of new prides. We had countless sightings of lions throughout the year and more often than not just a couple of meters away from our game vehicle. There are quite a few Kalahari lions that have been placed in Madikwe and they are a very impressive cat to capture through a lens. Another cat we spent a great deal of time with was cheetah. There are four young male cheetah in Madikwe who are very receptive to keen photographers. They sat and posed for us and stalked gracefully, so that we could catch their every movement. They paid no attention to the game vehicles that are always with them, and often made sure that each of our sightings was a memorable one. In 2015 the reserve attempted to place two female cheetah’s but sadly, these attempts were unsuccessful, but I understand from reliable sources that another attempt to place at least one female again will be made later on this year. Let us all hope this new project thrives, as there is nothing cuter or more photogenic than young cheetah cubs!
Elephant!! One of the most loved and also feared animals of the bush!! Madikwe most certainly gave us all ample opportunity to view its huge elephant population that range across the whole of the age spectrum. With water being in such short supply and with most of the larger dams such as Thou Dam supporting mud instead of water, all of our clients were allowed countless opportunities to shoot elephants of all ages throwing mud around, fighting in mud and rolling around in mud, incredible sightings and end picture results. Additionally, and I do not know if this was drought related, but we witnessed many bull elephants fighting, not ferociously, but in that gentle hugely powerful way that large bulls push each other around, often just a few meters away from us. One could feel the power of these animals as they planted their feet heavily in the ground looking for traction. Being on such a sighting leaves one in no doubt as to the amazing strength that these kings of the bush possess. I was always eternally grateful to know that we had one of the most experienced rangers behind the wheel who would leave before we became involved in any of these confrontations. Baby elephants chasing fully grown Rhinos was another sighting of note and to capture a baby elie in full flight after a giraffe had to be seen to be believed. They are truly a never ending source of amusement and supplier of unique photographic opportunities.