Perseverance pays off

Tracking can involve a bit of speculation and chance sometimes. This was the case recently when we were tracking down our northern male lion Marvin. Tracking can become tricky when you have fresh tracks all over a large area. This led us to decide on the freshest looking tracks and to go with a bit of “gut feeling”! As we were following the tracks we noticed that there were fewer and fewer animals around. The air was quiet. Then when we thought all hope was lost, Marvin lifted his head up from his resting position and showed himself. We were on the right track after all! As we approached, we noticed he had a wildebeest kill nearby which he had already almost finished eating. We watched him as he lay next to the road, regal and content with his full belly. Such a beautiful animal.

One morning we found some fresh female leopard tracks. We were under a bit of pressure as this was our guests’ special request and it was their last game drive before they checked out! Judging from the area we found her tracks, we knew this female was pretty shy. We circled the area a few times picking up new tracks and changing our direction from time to time. Ultimately this led us back to where we had started, right next to a herd of very relaxed impala. We heard some squirrels alarm-calling a little further on but didn’t see what the fuss was all about. On our last attempt we did another loop around and returned to the same herd of impala. We checked around the area carefully for the second time and, lo and behold, the leopard was actually stalking that very impala herd! She got quite low into the vegetation when we spotted her and I switched off the engine. We sat quietly until she started to relax – the impala herd had no idea she was sitting just 20 metres away! We noticed that she seemed a bit hesistant to go for the kill when we were there as she sneaked off into the bushes. We managed to get some good photos and then decided to leave her as we didn’t want to interfere with the hunt. Once again some awesome tracking paid off in the end! Wonderful sighting indeed.