Leopards are obviously high up on the wish list for guests going on a luxury African safari . Herein lies the caveat. The iconic photo of a leopard in a tree creates the impression that this is what they always do. So visitors do not only want to see a leopard, one of the most secretive and hard to find animals in the wild, but this request is always accompanied by a desire to see a leopard in a tree.
This is far easier said than done. But every once in a while the stars aline and the safari gods oblige. Guests visiting Pondoro’s safari lodge on the 21st of March enjoyed the privilege of following little Miss Van Wyk as she was hunting warthogs. I am not sure if they were aware of her presence, but she would pursue them quickly and silently through the bush, loose sight of them and jump into a tree to either relocate or plan her next move. This whole process repeated itself several times over the 45 minutes that I was following her providing some fascinating insight into a leopard’s ability to strategize.
I took this photos as she jumped down again to race in the direction of the fast disappearing warthogs. We eventually lost her as the hunt continued in thick shrub. She was found again yesterday afternoon in a tree feasting on an impala not too far away from where we saw her the previous day. This is excellent news for us as this not only guarantees a leopard sighting for the next couple of days, but an impala carcass hanging in a tree promises an iconic picture of a leopard in a tree for some lucky safari visitor to Africa. I know that the Pondoro guides will do their utmost best to fulfill this dream for their guests.