Involved Leopards

Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

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Nick Tennick

Guest contributor

Nick has always loved the outdoors and never turns down an opportunity for an adventure. After finishing high school in Johannesburg, where he grew up, Nick spent a gap year in the Zimbabwean bushveld which truly sparked his love for wildlife and conservation ...

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Thanks for your nice commentary related to your recent experience of tracking a leopard in the hopes of finding her for your guests. I’m glad it turned out so well for your guests, although, it appeared the leopard wasn’t so lucky hoisting her kill into a tree.
I can look back on many experiences of patiently waiting for something to happen or appear, but in each case, it was totally worth the wait – especially to witness leopards mating. Continue to enjoy your special sightings and tracking successes.

Thank you Denise. Patience out in the bush can be extremely rewarding, especially with mating leopards! Although she failed to hoist the kill on this occasion, Nhlanguleni is a brilliant hunter and is doing very well.

What a thrilling game drive for not only your guest, but you and Joy as well!

Karen, is was an exciting afternoon! Thanks for the comment.

Totally worth the wait on every drive. My heart skipped a beat reading this as I recall the excitement of knowing something was ahead and just wating to see what would unfold. There is nothing like it…while there in May, my sister asked me when I called to check in is it not the same every time you go out. An emphatic no, was my answer. No two game drives are the same, and the excitement for what lies ahead is the best feeling. Thanks for the play by play. It livened up a boring day at the office in the states.

Absolute pleasure Tricia, I’m glad you enjoyed the read. You are right, no two game drives are the same out in the bush and trying to predict what will happen next is almost impossible.

Great experience for your guests. I wonder, though, whether the leopard was the one who fed on the impala or whether it was the hyenas?
When you tracked her on foot you wrote that she left the carcass unattended for some time. Wasn’t this bit harassing for her? The hyenas could have come and stolen her hard earned meal in the meantime. It is sometimes certainly a bit difficult to decide for the animal or for the guests, I guess.

Thank you for the comment, Christa. Yes she did leave the impala unattended however returned and continued feeding on it for some time. It was only after we left her for the evening and retuned the next morning did we find the kill was gone and I suspect it may have been a hyena that picked up on the scent of the impala during the night and potentially stole it from Nhlanguleni.

Hi Nick, excellent tracking with Joy once again! As a past guest and fortunate recipient of your and Joy’s safari expertise, your storytelling easily transports me back into the bush! What a magnificent leopard encounter, thanks for bringing me along on the adventure. And great photos too, good to see you are honing your photography skills. Miss you and Joy.

Hello Rob, thank you for the comment. We had a special sighting and I’m glad we could share it with you albeit from miles away. Yes, I’m loving the photography

Great adventure today following a leopard and her kill. Thanks for sharing Nick.

Watching a cheetah stalk a herd of impala and ultimately focusing on one which had separated. We waited for more than 40 minutes as it stealthily approched it then chased it directly at our vehicle–incredible burst of speed as it took the impa;a down and then summoned its 2 nearby cubs to participate in the kill and subsequent feeding.

Wow, that sounds like an incredible scene. Thanks for sharing Vin.

How amazing that you got to provide that experience for your guests. So exciting when the Ranger and tracker come back with smiles from being off the vehicle you know something amazing is going to happen!
I love the patience required when looking for a wild dogs. Maybe a call comes in and someone has spotted them … You drive to that area and of course they have scattered in the bush. You’re looking and looking and scanning and driving different roads. 10 minutes goes by and nothing. More driving and scanning. Just when you think they have eluded you again -poof they show up right around the corner. And then of course the patience required to follow them through the bush – also a great amount of foresight by the Ranger in driving to where they may end up – so much fun though!

Thank you for sharing your past experience of following the Wild Dogs! they are up there with the most exciting animals to observe and follow in the bush – if you can keep up with them, that is!

Thank you for sharing your past experience of following the Wild Dogs! they are up there with the most exciting animals to observe and follow in the bush.

Worth the wait, I’m sure. I can practically treeless the excitement you and your guests must have felt in those moments.

It was definitely worth the wait, Chelsea. It was a great moment of discovery for myself and the guests.

Nick your patience payed off with the stunning site of the Nhlanguleni female and her kill. We were in the Kruger one year at the Biyamiti camp and I sat and watched the bush otherside of the Biyamiti River. My husband said there is nothing there, but I heard impala alarming so I knew there is a predator in the bush. Next minute a leopard came out the bush, walking away and started scent marking his territory and walked out in the open and we saw him, so beautiful. My patience payed off because I sat there for 2 hours waiting, but with the best reward ever.

Thank you for sharing this story Valmai. Its a special feeling seeing any animal that has taken its time to reveal itself form the bush. Often the signs and sounds of the bush indicate the presence of a predator but not everyone has the patience of that predator. Well done for sticking it out for 2 hours!

Nick, Thanks for such an exciting post! We are surprised that the Nhlanguleni Female couldn’t tree her kill. We wonder what could have happened to the kill if there was so little left the next morning? Hyenas?

Thank you, Michael and Terri! I was also puzzled as to why she didn’t choose to hoist it in another suitable tree. Indeed, a hyena stealing her kill on the ground would have been the most likely outcome.

Leopards require patience and an understanding of their biology and psychology. But the rewards are SO worth it!

Absolutely, Lisa. Their secretive nature and awareness is something to behold.

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10 April, 2798
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