Our afternoon safari started off extremely quiet. We reckoned that it was due to the bad weather we had been having. We told our guests that we may not see a lot of animals as most of them will head off into the thick bush to try and keep warm.

We drove for about an hour and a half, not seeing much, before we decided to stop for sundowner drinks. While socializing with the guests we hear a leopard calling not too far away, so we tell our guests to get into the vehicle as quickly as possible. We pack everything up and head off to try and find this elusive animal.

We drove around and even did a bit off off-roading, but found nothing. As we get back onto the road, there she is – she has a broken tail, hence we call her “Kinky tail”. As she makes her way into the bush, we follow her. We struggled to find her again but eventually we saw her on top of a termite mound.

Knowing there are warthogs living in that termite mound, she taps her feet at the entrance. Suddenly, a big female warthog comes running out of the hole towards the vehicle and runs straight past us. The leopard, however, knows that a warthog that size could cause her some serious injuries, so she waits for a little one to come out.

Again, a warthog runs out of the termite mound, this time a little one. Unfortunately for the piglet, his bad eyesight caused him to run into a stump. He ran in the opposite direction only to bump into “Kinky tail”. But even though she had the perfect opportunity to catch the little piglet, she got just as much of a fright as he did and was stunned into stiffness.

Nevertheless, just as the piglet thought he got away from the predator, she did a little pounce (almost kitten-like), and caught the little warthog in front of us.

As she carried it away, we lost her. While we were trying to relocate we heard something in the bush next to us. “Yes, we got her again”. As we made our way to this noise, out comes a female spotted hyena.

The hyena made her way straight towards the leopard and chased her off her kill and into a tree. We watched “Kinky tail” as she waited patiently in the tree for the hyena to leave and after a few minutes, she came down. Unexpectedly, she made another warthog kill.

Luckily for her, the hyena had gotten what she wanted and moved off with the stolen meal. Finally, she could finally enjoy her meal in peace, with no interruptions.

This was the most exciting drive I have ever been on in my life! And it is one of those that people working in the industry for years would kill to experience. I am truly blessed to be working in such an amazing environment where nature is at its best.

Kim Pretorius

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