In the bushveld, every corner may bring something that you never thought of or as it was in my case, saw coming…
It was a typical Lowveld winters morning with an icy chill in the air. After 20 minutes into our drive Judas (my tracker) calmly turned our attention to a group of impala alarming calling at a predator ahead of us. Before I could even say a word Judas spotted the raised white tail and the chilled air was abruptly broken with “LEOPARD! LEOPARD!” The glimpse of a tail turned to a vague dappled rosette covered body, which emerged into the Vomba Young Male. The window into this naturally shy animal’s life expanded when he moved through a clearing, still with tail raised and almost seeming disgruntled by the ever-present alarms that followed him. He made a bee-line to the closest thicket where he disappeared as quickly as he was met. It was quiet. No alarms.
Judas and I made a quick call to loop around to the closest road where we were hoping the young male leopard would re-emerge on a hippo path. On our way around we had some noisy traffic in the form of a flock of guineafowl and before we realised what was happening…
…the hunt was over.
The Vomba male appearing from nowhere propels himself into the air to grab at an unsuspecting guineafowl.
Written by: Don Heyneke
Filmed by: Su Jin Wong