Leopard Mother and Cub With a Kill – and Duelling Hyenas …

Dawie’s News from Khwai River Lodge on the Okavango Photo safari:

After eating a full breakfast with steaming hot coffee we were ready and eager to welcome another day in this paradise.

We tried to figure out where the leopards would be this morning, and as we drove in the most likely direction we received a call that one of the guides could hear the sound of fighting hyenas.

We quickly headed that way and spent a very exciting time watching hyenas indulging in a brawl. They were next to a hippo carcass that they were feeding on. The morning was cool, with a wispy mist hanging over everything. This created the most fabulous, moody scene for photographs and with that rather violent interaction between the combatants, the entire sighting is one that will be remembered for years.

From there we went in search of the leopards again, and to our amazement and even more delight we actually located them without too much difficulty. Mother and cub had done almost exactly what we imagined last night – a waterbuck kill! We remained with them for a long while as the cub played in and out of the trees, pounced on anything that moved, then rolled around, harassed mom, and enjoyed the early morning.

Our second vehicle went to check on a report of Wilds Dogs, but as they were fast asleep and disinclined to move for the next while, they returned to the leopards. They were just in time to see the female drag the kill to a new location.

So all in all we had a superb morning and returned to the Lodge for lunch, well satisfied with more wonderful memories and our growing photographic collection.

This afternoon we first returned to the hippo kill where we photographed the different vulture species as they squabbled and fed, flapping, and hopping, and grabbing tasty morsels. The scene appeared really chaotic, with movement everywhere.

We found a troop of baboons at a water channel. They were drinking and playing around in and out of the water.

After this we went back to the Wild Dogs. They kept us busy especially when they started to hunt. After they spotted a herd of zebra the chase was on! Excitement mounted as they singled out a male and chased him around quite a bit.

And finally we returned to the leopards but as they were barely visible in thick bush we didn’t hang around. After all, we have spent an excellent time with them and have lovely photographs …
Tomorrow we will decide whether to check on the leopards, hippo carcass or Wild Dogs first when we set out – or the morning could hold a different surprise for us …