Tracking leopard

We left early in the morning with dark clouds overhead and, expecting rain, were very keen to see as much as we possibly could before the heavens opened.

Within 500m of leaving camp we found fresh leopard tracks passing right past camp. We followed the tracks of this young male who is well known around camp (he is the son of “Twin Spots”) and whose territory includes the camp grounds.

In fact his tracks are often found between the tents and chalets here at Kwa-Mbili. We tracked him to a thick block on the Jabulani section – ideal leopard habitat with its dense bush and abundance of small game for prey. After about 30 minutes tracking we almost drove straight past him as he was lying calmly on the side of the road.

Soon after being spotted, he obviously decided he wasn’t in a generous mood and, lifting himself off the ground, slowly walked north into thick bush. We tried in vain to follow him but the block was just too thick for the Landrover to manoeuvre and, before we knew it, he had slipped off gracefully into the bush and eluded our pursuit.

At this point we decided to cut our losses and stop to talk about the beautiful leopard we had just seen over a cup of coffee!