The tracking of the leopard in itself was marvelous to be part of, but the execution of the kill, on his behalf, was sublime to watch. As guides we spend countless hours in the bushveld, hoping for a handful of moments like this. I got exceptionally lucky the other evening and got to watch the notorious Camp Pan male leopard stalk and successfully kill an impala ram.
The set up was perfect, he had calculated the wind direction and the cover together with the movement of the small bachelor herd. He sat motionless for about half an hour carefully weighing up all options and waiting for his moment. In a split second it arrived. He saw the herd moving across the road to the open grasslands where they would safely spend the night. Instantly, he knew that he could now use the long grass on the side of the road to cover a swift approach. It was now or never!
His entire body dropped…shoulders high, tail low and ears down, he sprinted along the road. Almost cheetah-like. He covered the 60 meters in mere seconds. The first impala ran across the road, then the second, the third jumped and thud! He hit it with incredible force. We could hear it from the vehicle. Gripping down on the throat of the helpless impala, he claimed yet another victim. A much needed meal for an empty stomach.
Many people say that the great Camp Pan is aging and his physical condition is poor; well, let me tell you, that from what I saw that evening, he still has incredible patience, skill, speed and power…all qualities that make up the perfect leopard. All qualities that have contributed towards his success in the years gone by.
Written, filmed and photographed by Adam Bannister
The bestest of the best………..you are so fortunate to live in a place where there are such fantastic opportunities.
I am a BIG FAN of that leopard. Thanks for sharing; he is amazing!
What a beautiful animal!!!! Amazing leopard!!!
great work guys well done Adam fantastic sequence
Remarkable footage. It can be understood why they are called *silent killers* – grasp on the throat is so swift and so strong that there is no (or at worst very little) sound from the prey caught. He is a beautiful leopard.
Wow Adam! Thanks for sharing that, truly amazing!
I almost want to feel badly for the impala but am left cheering on the leopard. What a remarkable old boy. He is still stunning at this ‘old’ age and the skill he has to hunt is incredible. Great footage. Thanks Adam.
The first leopard we saw (thanks to Byron and James) and how ever daft it may seem, he is the one that touches my heart – when you all started to write him off it really dismayed me (being of a certain age!!)
There is life in the old boy yet – to me he is majestic, and still capable of winning over the lady leopards of Londolozi – thanks Adam for an uplifting posting for the Camp Pan fan club !!! How I love this Blog!
Perfect and beautiful. thank you.
What a wonderful opportunity you had! They are truely magnificent hunters.. He is a beautiful cat.. how old is this guy?
thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences with us.. I feel so very fortunate to be able to share your piece of the globe….
Wonderful… thank you again for sharing.
Camp Pan was the first leopard we saw too, (thanks to Adam and Solomon) walking along the river bed towards us, stopping by the vehicle and then walking past, we could hear his footprints in the sand. The most amazing experience.
This is awesome Adam. Camp Pan is my favourite leopard at Londolozi and that video just proved why. He is an exceptional animal. I will be there in July and can only hope with fingers crossed that I get to see this beautiful boy. Thanks so much for sharing!
Amazing catch! I especially love how calm he immediately gets once he’s caught the prey. It’s so beautifully quiet! Can an impala ever defend himself against a leopard? For example, I saw a lioness get pretty well injured from a zebra kick to the chest during an attempted kill. She was limping afterward and the zebra escaped. Just wondering if impala have any strengths other than speed to prevent getting caught in the first place or if they’re always goners once contact has been made?
As a South African and going to the bush on a frequent basis I know how scarce it is to witness a kill but to capture it on camera , now that is pretty special.
Great footage Adam! We were lucky enough to see the whole kill right in front of us that evening. We were on the other game range vehicle with Malvin and Milton. It was the most amazing thing we have ever seen. We took the most amzing photos but didn’t catch the kill on video like you did. Thanks for posting the video it was great to watch it again. When we went back the next morning the leopard had taken the impala up a tree and there was a hyena sitting below waiting for the impala to fall from the tree. That was also quite something to see. We can’t want to come back there to see more. See you all soon. Brad and Michele.
Wow! Amazing footage Adam!
Great work Adam, I always enjoy your posts.