The world of a leopard

Many guests come to Africa with the expectation to see a leopard. What they do not realize is that the leopard is one of the most elusive and secretive animals in the wild. However, we do try to find them one.

I had guests that were staying at River Lodge for four nights so luckily we had some time to find them all the things that they wanted to see. Within the first two days we had seen many different animals, including four of the “Big 5” and the cheetah. My guests were very pleased with all the sightings we had had.

We then decided to try find a leopard. Unfortunately, we had no luck. So we carried on with the rest of our drives as relaxed as possible with anything else we saw as a bonus.

On their last afternoon drive, we had found a baby warthog kill on the side of the road. We were not sure if it was a leopard that had killed it or something else. So we drove around trying to find some evidence of this shy creature. Finally, we saw some movement in the tall grass. As we drove closer, we see her head pop up – the most beautiful animal in Africa; the leopard.

We watched her in the grass for a few minutes, amazed at how well she camouflages. She then got up and walked away. We tried to keep her visual but we lost her. We drove around trying to relocate her again for about five minutes. As I looked to my right, I saw a few spots lying on top of a termite mound. There she was, high and mighty; extremely proud. We sat there and watched her clean herself and even play with a piece of grass, showing us a cub-like personality, allowing us into her world.

My guests and I agreed that this was an amazing experience; one that not even us as rangers get to experience very often.

KC (Kim) – Kapama River Lodge
20/12/2012

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