When we ask our guests what animal they want to see, the most popular answer is almost always the leopard. With their secretive nature and spotted camouflage they are extremely difficult to find.
Finding a leopard takes exceptional guiding skills in tracking and patients. We need to have a good understanding of leopard behaviour so we can pre-empt their next move for the best possible sighting.
But sometimes, its as easy as stopping to wait for a dust storm to clear. As I found out on a recent morning drive.
While out on our morning safari at Paradise Pools I noticed that the wind had suddenly picked up, creating a small dust storm. Trying to avoid the dust I turned down wind and stopped the vehicle so we could wait for the dust to settle.
While waiting for this bad weather to pass I heard the distinct alarm call of a red lechwe came out from a nearby bush in front of us. Not sure why the lechwe were alarm calling we slowly edged closer to see what we could find. To my surprise, there was a young leopard peacefully resting beneath a large mopane tree, not far from where the lechwe were calling. Leopard are shy in nature and I wasn’t sure how she would react to our presence so we kept our distance and took a few photographs of her curiously looking around from the base of the tree.
Suddenly, she stood up and jumped into one of the lower branches of the tree. From there she gracefully leapt to a higher branch demonstrating her exceptional agility and power. Once settled on the branch she posed beautifully for us to take more photos. I believe she was using the high branches of this tree to search for nearby prey.”
A memorable sighting for Banda and his guests. Well done to Banda for capturing the stunning photographs. Sometimes it takes a bit of luck and being in the right place at the right time to enjoy special sightings like this one. Paradise Pools offers exceptional game viewing and one of our favourite places for a morning or afternoon out.