Another grey, heavily overcast day as I set off down the tarred S110 towards Malelane. I anticipate being out until late morning because of the cool day and I intend doing the Mlambane and Biyamithi roads. But the best laid plans come adrift at the T junction with the H3.
A couple of cars are stopped a hundred meters from the intersection towards Malelane Gate and I investigate. I can scarcely believe my eyes when, but 10m from the road, I find a leopard administering the last rites to an impala ram.
She is completely unfazed by the traffic which is rapidly starting to build up but after a while drags the impala into a culvert beneath the road. Thereafter she does not seem interested on feeding off the carcass but spends the rest of the morning wandering about, climbing trees and giving us all a spectacular view.
I spend two hours with the leopard and when considering that this road is a major entry point to the Park, then the traffic was not excessive and people behaved very well. Meanwhile word has it that another leopard is feeding on an impala on the S119 Mlambane river road so I decide to investigate.
I find the place a Km from the S114 intersection but it is a narrow gravel road which is choked with tourist bakkies and other cars. The leopard is still feeding up a tree but a thick screen of twigs and branches gives me only a view of a tail and hindquarters. After the great sighting down at Malelane, I rapidly abandon this leopard without taking a photo.
I return to Bergendal late morning just as the sky clears and settle down to edit the many photographs that I have taken. Late afternoon and I set out for the Matjulu water trough where again some buffalo, warthog and later rhino come to drink.
Rain is forecast for tomorrow morning but somehow I feel they are being a little optimistic. I hope I am wrong. Without doubt our Lady Leopard down at Malelane stole the show today with a most memorable sighting.
Viv Oct 10, 2019 at 7:36 am
Nikki Oct 10, 2019 at 8:19 am
wow wow Richard incredible pictures
looks like you had a very special time with this leopards – very lucky
Richard Grant Oct 10, 2019 at 3:28 pm
Yes, so fortunate Nikki.
Helena Langridge Oct 11, 2019 at 3:29 pm
I just fell in love with the leopard with his charismatic eyes. One always hopes to get the classic leopard lounging in a tree and you did Fred. Sooo jealous but very grateful to you for sharing. A few months ago we did manage to see a Cape Eagle owl whilst looking for leopards in trees so that was a most rewarding and pleasant surprise.
Richard Grant Oct 11, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Not every day one gets as lucky as that Helena. I have spent years in Kruger trying to get that photo so you can imagine the elation when I finally succeeded. I love it.