Driving along during our morning game drive, we spotted a female leopard standing amongst the grass on the side of the road. As we were in a private game reserve, our ranger was able to immediately head off road, so that we could follow. Heading over mounds, small tress, fallen branches, nothing stood in our way to track the leopard and its path.
Initially the leopard was stalking a couple of impala. If it wasn’t for the white tip of her tail, we would lose sight of the leopard in the long grass, as she crouched and watched her prey.
Unfortunately the impala soon spotted her, and ran off. With little interest to follow, the leopard started heading in the other direction. Any fallen tree was soon climbed so that she could have a good view of her surrounds.
We followed the leopard for around 60 minutes. We lost her at one stage, but when we stopped to look, we found her directly next to our vehicle taking a breather under a bush. At this point we were probably only 1.5-2 metres from her – so close it felt like we could reach out for a pat, but knew better.
I never expected to get this close to a leopard and to have such an amazing experience of watching her for so long. We were the only vehicle tracking her, and could easily have continued for much longer, but breakfast was calling.
Without the knowledge and experience of our tracker (David) and ranger (Matt) at &Beyond Tengile River Lodge, this would never have been possible.
A truly unique and exclusive experience.