Incredible lion sighting at Cheetah Plains Private Game Reserve

Posted on 20 September 2020

Sipps Maswannganyi, the Head Guide at Cheetah Plains Private Game Reserve photographed an incredible lion sighting on September 16.

The lions, known as the Talamati Pride in the Northern Sabi Sabi within the Kruger National Park, consists of 15 big cats: 5 females, 9 sub adults and one Avoca Male.

Getaway spoke to Sipps about the encounter. He explained that while on a game drive with guests, he located the pride about one and a half hours after sunset.

‘They looked like they were on a hunt and we decided to stay with them, followed them through the bushes, in the direction of this waterhole.’ Sipps knew the animals would stop to drink before continuing with their hunt. In anticipation of their next move, he drove to the watering hole.

‘With much experience, we knew they would need a drink before they continue searching for their prey,’ he said.

Sipps left the pride in anticipation of their arrival at the watering hole. He then set the vehicle up in the perfect position to capture the moment.

‘After few minutes, the indeed came and joined us… We were all excited! The water in this small waterhole was so still and clear, so pure and quiet…I knew this would be my dream shot.. and maybe the last one in my guiding career… And I had to make it count!’

‘It was one of the most beautiful sighting of my time,’ Sipps said. He explained that he and the guests all got goosebumps during the ‘electrifying’ moment.

‘The lions were moving slowing, almost like posing for a pic…moving in circles around this watering hole, it was a pure miracle!’

Sipps continued and said that the dark-maned Avoca male approached and lay next to the waterhole. ‘One of his daughters approached him, teasing him… Epic! It was amazing!…we couldn’t believe it!’

‘Then after 30 minutes or so, they all decided to leave the waterhole, and continue with their mission. It was brilliant!’

Sipps captured the incredible encounter on a Nikon D850 with a 200-500mm zoom lens. Check out the images below.

The Avoca male with one of his daughters. Image credit: Sipps Maswannganyi

A perfect reflection. Image credit: Sipps Maswannganyi

Picture perfect. Image credit: Sipps Maswannganyi

the Talamati Pride in the Northern Sabi Sabi within the Kruger National Park, consists of 15 big cats. Image credit: Sipps Maswannganyi

Image credit: Sipps Maswannganyi/ Cheetah Plains Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sand, South Africa

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