sabi sabi ranger stories
leopard kill in front of bush lodge
After an incredible morning safari, topped by the spectacular sighting of a male cheetah hunting on the open plains, I arrived back at Bush Lodge with my very happy and excited guests. Me and my fellow rangers had just put our rifles away and were making our way to breakfast, when one of the guests shouted "Leopard!"
We rushed out in time to see a female leopard next to the river bed just a few meters in front of the lodge. She had caught one of the grey duikers which always hide in the riverine bush. We watched in awe as she struggled to drag the carcass up one of the huge Sycamore Fig trees which line the Msuthlu riverbed. A few minutes later we had another treat, as the leopard's 13 month old male cub climbed the tree to join her at the kill.
Unfortunately the tree bark was a bit too slippery and as she tried to better position the carcass, it dropped into the bushes under the tree. Rather than try to pull it back up again, the leopard and her cub continued to devour the duiker on the ground.
Every now and again the female meandered across to the waterhole in front of Bush Lodge for a long drink of water, and then returned to her hard won meal.
All this happened with 30 very lucky guests safely watching from their vantage point on the Bush Lodge viewing deck.
This was a wonderful experience, made more so since the Bush Lodge rangers had been unsuccessful in finding leopard during the morning safari - in contrast to the previous evening safaris when there had been sightings of four different leopards.