Today was the last day here in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa, and it was sad to do the last game drive of the trip. I am writing this entry from my seat on my flight back home on South African Airways, somewhere over the middle of the Atlantic ocean. My 17-hour flight can only be made up of so many bad movies with Nicholas Cage in them. UGH.
We had a sparse crew of takers for our last game drive, but those that went out were rewarded with good light and good sightings. What did we see? You guessed it: cheetah! Bird in hand, my friends. We were able to locate our friendly cheetah down by the break between Singita and Londolozi, and watched him pose on different trees for over an hour as he paraded around the open grass plains. The zebras nearby weren’t so thrilled, so that created yet another nice opportunity to have alert zebras in our frame.
Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/5 @ f/14, ISO 100
Cheetah Peering Over A Log
Nikon D800, 300mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/1000 @ f/3.5, ISO 1250
Cheetah In A Tree
Nikon D4, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/1000 @ f/5.6, ISO 800
Cheetah In A Tree
Nikon D800, 300mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/1600 @ f/5, ISO 800
Nikon D800, 300mm f/2.8 VRII, 1/1000 @ f/6.3, ISO 800
We were back at camp around 8:30, so we had enough time to pack up, eat breakfast, say goodbye to the amazing staff and shove off for the airstrip around 11am. I have led so many safaris in the past 10 years and know what it feels like to leave a place after a long safari, but this one was different in that I had a deep connection with Castleton and all who work there. Thank you to Claude, Marinda, Jane, Constance, Gloria, our guides Leon, Wade and Ricardo, and especially our trackers Johnson, Lawrence, Renneck and Emmanuel. You all are amazing people who make my business and enjoyable one. Thank you thank you thank you. Since Castleton is closing down at the end of this year, I will have to wait until 2014 when the new camp is built for me to return.
I am planning out my 2013 safari year, and if you have any interest for yet-to-be-announced safaris, I would love to hear from you. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Camera bags on this safari are sponsored by Gura Gear, which I started in 2008. Check us out. We make the best camera bags on the planet.
Some of the gear on this safari has been provided by Borrowlenses.com. I rely on borrowlenses.com for both my own needs as well as my safari travelers’ needs. When we need big lenses, cameras or anything else photographic, we turn to borrowlenses.com to help out. They are the best resource in the industry for traveling photographers.