Botswana Khwai, Savute, Chobe Safari: Matsebe, the Notch-eared Leopard

Fanus Shares from the Botswana Khwai, Savute, Chobe SafariSafari: Matsebe, the Notch-eared Leopard

It was quite an experience to arrive at the famed Khwai River Lodge in its stunning, pristine setting, and as everyone was here by 15:00, we got together for our briefing, then assembled our camera gear, and were ready for our first game drive.

As always, this unspoiled area has so much to see – beautiful birds, and wildlife to delight any nature photographer. Zebras roamed around, stately waterbuck gazed at us as our cameras were kept busy, busy, busy.

Then we turned northwards – this turned out to be the best decision ever as we didn’t travel far before we stumbled across a female leopard. She is easily identifiable as she has a notch in her ear – giving her the name Matsebe. The ‘ma’ part of her name identifies her as a mother, and ‘tsebe’ points to her unique ear. She has a cub stashed away somewhere, but we didn’t get to see it.

We remained with Matsebe for some time, actually for the remainder of our drive. After resting for a short while she started hunting. We followed at a discreet distance. She didn’t find anything close enough or unaware enough to stalk, and gave up to lie down for a rest.

After quite some time Matsebe, almost without warning, sprang up, and with one bound she was high up in a tree.

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By now the lovely sky behind her was turning to a deep, rich blue – fabulous photos!

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She paced around, and scrutinized the area from up there until finally she jumped down again and melted away into the gathering darkness.

Maybe we will start the morning with a visit to this area to try and find her again …

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