Okavango Khwai River Safari: All I can say is a WOW Leopard!
Brendon Cremer Reports: (all images from back of Brendon’s camera)
The sun was just rising as we set out this morning. With all the rain and the heat it was a particularly misty morning, creating scenes that were beautiful beyond description.
As we left the Lodge we saw a large herd of Zebras, and soon after a herd of stately Giraffe appeared through the mist.
We headed towards the airstrip where we arrived just in time to see Lions disappearing into a thicket. Hoping that they would emerge on the far side of the bushes we headed there and waited. Sure enough, our patience was rewarded when the Lions came strolling out of the thicket – and as they walked in the early morning light with that ethereal mist they looked absolutely wonderful!
After filling our memory cards with fabulous photos we moved on to check out the Mogotlo area. There was just so much general game around – Impala, Lechwe,
… Wildebeest, more Giraffe, Elephants … and uncountabe herds of Zebras. The whole area is carpeted with small yellow flowers … it was like driving through a beautiful garden with plentiful game and birds to add to the experience.
We headed towards the Lions again, and moments before we reached them we spotted a herd of Giraffe with a very small baby heading directly to the Lions. We watched with bated breath as the herd moved closer, closer and ever closer to the lions. The excitement and tension was amazing as we sat spellbound.
Then either one of the Giraffe spotted or smelled the Lions and they bolted away.
But it was a really exciting event just before lunch back at the Lodge.
As we set out again after lunch we noticed that clouds were beginning to build on the horizon, and little did we realise what a bumper afternoon was waiting for us.
We started with Lechwe running across the plains with lots of lightning in the background, while Crocodiles and Hippos in and out of the water watched the action lazily.
Hearing about a Leopard we headed that way, and passed a large Elephant Bull along the way, and when we arrived at the area to see the Leopard we searched around until we found her – a beautiful old female, and we then spent the whole afternoon with her.
We watched as she stalked and so very nearly caught an Impala. She then carried on, up and down trees, where she lay down in the amazing golden late afternoon light before moving to the next – and the next tree.
Later this evening she carried on walking, giving us plenty to photograph as she perused the area – climbing onto logs, mounds and trees to get a good look around. The heavy, dark blue clouds in the background looked spectacular! It was an incredible afternoon with her and for many, this was a first ever Leopard sighting! We eventually lost her in a Mopane thicket in the dark.
Tomorrow morning we plan to check on the Lions again at first light …