It was the last morning drive with my 5 guests, and we’d been fortunate enough to have amazing sightings over the last couple days; including a lion killing a warthog!
All that was left, as usual, was the elusive leopard. It was quite late into our drive, and there hadn’t been so much as even a leopard track spotted the whole morning. We were making our way down to view the elephants, driving around the inflow to one of the dams while waiting for the other vehicles to finish with the elephant sighting. All of a sudden, our tracker, Michael, stands up on his chair looking into the distance – “ingwe” he tells me excitedly – Leopard! I make my way towards where he’d seen the leopard, and although we were all able to see it, he disappeared quite quickly into the thick bush.
Unable to follow, another vehicle and I that had come to try see it made our way into the muddy inflow of the dam where we thought the male leopard might pop out. We waited a few minutes with all our attention focused on the area to the right of our vehicle.
Close to giving up hope, none of us expected what happened next. Noticing some movement to the left of our car, we glanced over to see a female leopard casually walking towards the front of our car through the mud towards the direction of the male. While we were unfortunate not to see them together, the female leopard treated us with a spectacular sighting, even stopping to have a quick drink of water in the mud pan not far from our vehicle.
As everyone knows, it does not matter how skilled a ranger or tracker is; in the bush, you sometimes need a little bit of luck, and we were fortunate enough to have it in abundance that morning!
Kevin – Kapama River Lodge