An experience that you would never forget… It was another beautiful afternoon in the bush with eight guests Ann, Stacy, Lisa, Peter, Maggy, Sven and the honeymoon couple Tim and Alyison that had never been on safari before. We had seen four of the Big 5 in two days and were yet to see leopard. Time was starting to run out because some were leaving the next day.
We had managed to find some male leopard tracks that unfortunately led us into some thick bush where we could no longer establish where or in which direction the tracks had gone. We decided we would move on and keep trying. We kept trying for another two hours and even sacrificed the beautiful “afra-tinies” sundowner drinks which were cocktails that the guests had made up on their first night.
The sun had gone down, and now it was prime time for leopards, everyone had their eyes pealed for bright eyes in the spot light. We were making our way back to where we left the tracks going off into the bush and decided that we would try our luck. As we moved into the area I heard over my radio that male leopard had been found! It was late now and almost time to head back to Bush Lodge but we had to see this male leopard before going anywhere. We headed over to where Franscois, the ranger, was parked and viewing this beautiful animal. As we got there the leopard became mobile and started heading for the thick bush. We managed to keep up while dodging the bushes and branches with the vehicle and our heads. It opened up slightly and the leopard finally stopped but as he stopped he started territorial calling and was salivating to. He called three or four times and then was back on a mission again. Maybe there was another male in the area?
He stopped again, but this time it was not him calling, it was a high-pitched noise that sounded familiar but didn’t make any sense. The next moment a leopard cub popped out the bush followed by a female! At first I thought that this was going to end off badly, but realized it was the males cub! It was unbelievable to watch the unexpected and rare interaction between the three with the cub going up to dad and greeting him. We sat there for some time and took in the unbelievable experience with my guests.
Slowly the three of them started to move off and we had seen it all and also started to head back to the lodge with our hearts racing and the biggest smiles on our faces. But it was not over yet! When we came around the corner and there was another male leopard standing in the road that I had never see before, he did not hang around for too long and he scuttled off into the bush by the lodge. It was the Rollercoaster female’s youngster! What an unbelievable afternoon, one that we will never forget!