Ryan, one of Camp Jabulani’s rangers, took two of his guests out on a game drive immediately after breakfast recently. At around 10:00 am, he radioed the lodge and informed us that there was a leopard lying under his Landrover to cool down in its shade. As I had guests landing at Eastgate airport at 11:20, I quickly headed over to the sighting before they arrived.
After quite the trek into the bush, I finally arrived and stopped my vehicle directly behind Ryan’s.
With visibility difficult for both Ryan and his guests due to the position of the leopard, he had to crane his neck in order to keep a close eye on the behaviour of this notoriously cheeky feline. I managed to get 10 minutes of quality “happy snapping” from where I was positioned, and finally left the sighting to collect my guests.
Following the guests’ checkin and lunch, we headed back towards the magical leopard sighting. The cat occasionally looked our way before flopping over to continue snoozing for a duration of about 45+ minutes, until we returned to the lodge for the elephant back safari.
On the same day, our colleague from the Hoedsruit Endangered Species Centre, Ruan Roos, also found it mating. A busy cat, no doubt. Could there be a new generation of leopards on Kapama Game Reserve in the near future? Time will tell.
To end the day off beautifully, the night safari ended with another wonderful sighting of Camp Jabulani wildlife, a big male lion lying in the middle of the road – yawning, stretching and groaning just 10 metres from our vehicle!
All in a day’s work at Camp Jabulani. How lucky are we!