The first time we saw this female leopard she was with her mom on an impala kill in the tall grass. She was very small and when her mom left her alone at the carcass to go and drink at the nearby spring, the leopard cub didn’t mind us and carried on feeding, completely undisturbed by our presence.
Now, we see her on a regular basis, always around the Banyini area. We often see her in broad daylight, sitting on the edge of the open plains under a thick bush, while surveying the scene.
On this particular occasion, from very far away, we spotted a herd of buffalo emerging from the mopane forest. As we drove a little bit closer to have a better look at this herd of two or three hundred on their way to the spring, we spotted her. She was as intrigued as we were by this huge herd, kicking up clouds of dust as far as we could see through the forest. As the herd passed by, the sun was getting closer to its zenith and she walked off into the forest, most probably to find a nice patch of shade to spend the rest of the day.
Sitting in Hwata blind (our sunken photographic hide) is an incredible way to wait for animals to come and drink, especially when the heat beats down on the earth and scorches the last bit of moisture out of almost everything. At this time of the year one can sit in the blind and always have something to watch, from the endless amount of doves that just seem to keep coming to drink, to the almost resident impalas around the open areas of the pan. It’s always great to see this action, but of course the action that we all hope for is the arrival of the bigger pachyderms.
Painted wolves (Lycaon pictus), also known as African wild dogs, rely mainly on their sight to hunt, therefore they need a certain amount of light. They prefer hunting at dusk and at dawn, as midday temperatures are often too high. Very often, as seen here, the pack will find a cool spot not far from water, and spend the heat of the day resting nearby.
Walking in general is good for your health so you find that most people love it, but they don’t take it to the lengths I do. The most exhilarating part for me when I am walking is that all of my senses function at their extreme, and this is when I completely connect with nature.