Finding the very secretive leopard is not very easy…Most of the time it is just luck that allows you to find it. But the last week luck has been on my side. I was fortunate enough to find 8 leopards in 4days:
The 1st leopard that we saw was an old male having a bit of a rest in a river bed…To me it was a typical place to find a leopard. It was a fantastic sighting.
The 2nd time we were busy watching some giraffes’ when I saw something in the road ahead, it was a female with 2 small cubs of about 2 – 3 months old. She sat there for a few minutes and then walked off the road into very thick bush.
The 3rd sighting was the next drive, I heard about a very relaxed male close by to where I had stopped for sundowners. When we got to the leopard, he was lying in the grass right next to the road. He was so relaxed with us being there, just lying in the open and just lifting up his head when ever he heard a sound. (See photo below)
The 4th one was on the way back to the lodge from the sighting above (3rd sighting), as we were driving my tracker Steven saw a male leopard running across the road. As we drove closer we just saw him briefly next to the road where he then ran off into the bushes.
The 5th sighting was the next morning. As we were driving along Steven saw some fresh leopard tracks on the road. We followed the tracks for about 500m and there she was right next to the road. We watched her for a short period when she moved into the bushes.
The 6th sighting was this morning… Steven again saw some fresh leopard tracks crossing the road; we followed them and made a loop back to where we had first seen the tracks. To my amazement I saw that the leopard had walked on top of my tyre tracks where we just past a few minutes earlier. We again followed the tracks and found the female leopard busy stalking some warthogs. She unfortunately missed the warthogs.
Being lucky enough to see all of these leopards just made me realize just how unpredictable the bush is and that you never know what awaits you around the next corner!!!!!
Stefan de Weerd-Kapama River Lodge Ranger