Sabi Sabi yesterday, today, tomorrow

leopards liking little lambs

by Richard de Gouveia on November 20, 2011

With the summer in full swing, all the impala ewes have started dropping their lambs. I have been hoping to see a birth this year but it seems that I will have to wait a little longer. I cant complain though as we have been bombarded with the most amazing sightings over the past few weeks.

impala lambs at sabi sabi

Our goal for the morning was to find a leopard and we didn’t have to wait too long! Rika, one of the rangers from Bush lodge, found a female leopard lying comfortably in a tree surveying the surrounds for a bit of breakfast.

leopard in a tree on safari game drive at sabi sabi

She soon spotted a herd of impala and came down from her vantage point to start the stalk towards her potential meal. As she stalked closer one of the impala spotted her and rang out an alarm call, which made sure that everything in the vicinity knew that she was there. She took little notice as the herd moved away from her and she started to sniff through the grass.

leopard stare

Often the little impala lambs will just lie down in the grass and not move hoping that the danger will just pass them by. As we watched her sniffing we saw that one of the lambs had been separated from the herd and was standing helplessly alone staring at the adults who were 100 metres away and snorting their alarm calls like crazy as if willing the youngster to join them.

The leopard slowly moved over without noticing the little lamb that was now no more than 30 metres from her. Suddenly the lamb broke into a full sprint as she cracked under the pressure and the leopard finally caught sight of it and went into a full chase to catch it. We went speeding round to the next road to see if we could relocate her and as we entered the bush we found her on the little impala, which was already dead.

leopard with impala kill at sabi sabi

She dragged it off to the cover of a tree, staring up into the tree trying to figure out if it was worth the effort of hoisting into the safety of the branches. She then caught her breath and left to go find her 22 month old son who she is still providing for. We followed her as she moved through the bush calling for her son as she got closer to where she had last left him. She called and called till finally out of the bushes he came and joined his mother who then led him to the kill.

leopard with impala kill at sabi sabi while on safari game drive

leopard relaxing on safari game drive

by: Richard de Gouveia (Little Bush Camp ranger)

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

asun alvarez gomez November 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

oh my god,is great,i remember. i would love to be back there.asun

Reply

ranger rich November 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Thanks Asun!! It was a very memorable sighting! We hope to have you back again soon…

Reply

syl November 20, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Another great blog/photos & video. Thanks Richard.

Reply

ranger rich November 20, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Always a pleasure Syl…Hope you have a great day!

Reply

kat November 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Glad there is a plentiful food supply for the Leopards! Great photos!

Reply

ranger rich November 21, 2011 at 1:57 pm

Thanks Kat! It is a little heart breaking see these cute lambs being caught but something primal makes me smile about it!

Reply

thomas schneider November 21, 2011 at 11:17 pm

Love those beautiful cats. have never seen one in the wild but need to one day. i have been to tembe where we have leopards but never saw one. i hope the next time i visit africa i will see a beautiful leopard. really great shots!

Reply

ranger rich November 22, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Thanks for the comment Thomas! It is by far my favourite animal and never cease to be amazed by the beauty of this cat! When you come to South Africa again you should visit us and we’ll see what we can do to show you this amazing creature!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: