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On Thursday, 16 May 2024, during a site visit at Elephant Plains Game Reserve in the renowned Sabi Sands, I experienced an extraordinary encounter with Nsumi, a young female leopard whose beauty and grace left us all in awe.

We found Nsumi resting beside the road in tall grass, basking in the late afternoon warmth. The tranquil scene was captivating as she enjoyed a peaceful siesta, undisturbed by our presence. We were privileged to observe her in this serene state, blending seamlessly into her natural habitat.

As the sun began its descent, casting a golden hue over the landscape, Nsumi stirred from her rest. She rose gracefully and ambled down the road, the warm light accentuating her exquisite colouring and intricate rosettes. It was as if she knew she was the star of the show, posing with the elegance of a seasoned professional model.

The opportunity to capture Nsumi in this magical light was a photographer’s dream. Her movements were fluid and deliberate as she began to hunt, presumably after a small rodent hidden in the grass. Despite our proximity, she remained unperturbed, focused on her surroundings and the tasks at hand. She marked her territory with confidence, surveying the expanse of her domain with an air of regal authority.

Sabi Sands is renowned for its remarkable big cat sightings, and this visit was a testament to its reputation. Each visit to this incredible reserve promises unique encounters and unforgettable moments, and our time with Nsumi was no exception. The game reserve’s lush landscapes and abundant wildlife offer endless opportunities for photographers to capture the raw beauty of the African wilderness.

For those passionate about wildlife photography, Elephant Plains Game Reserve in Sabi Sands is a must-visit destination. The combination of diverse fauna, breathtaking scenery, and the thrill of tracking elusive predators like Nsumi ensures that every photographic safari is an unparalleled adventure.

Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a seasoned professional, a trip to Sabi Sands promises not only exceptional photographic opportunities but also a deeper connection to the natural world. Join us and immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of Africa’s wildlife.