Brendon from Okavango Machaba: Leopard in Camp!
(all images from back of camera)
As we left the camp this morning we found the Wild Dog tracks … we wanted to catch up with the the dogs before sunrise, hoping that they would want to hunt, and started to follow them – all the way across the Khwai River and on to Mogotlo, after which they disappeared into the Chobe National Park.
Along the way we stopped countless times – for Elephants, Sable Antelope, Zebra – and a very entertaining hippo that shook his head vigorously at us before storming out of the water, only to retreat and repeat the performance.
A list of birds would be too long and boring to wade through – but we did have a wonderful and prolonged sighting of a very rare Pel’s Fishing Owl – this was a first-timer for most of our group, who were more than delighted to capture some rather decent images of the uncommon encounter.
We heard that another pack of Wild Dogs had been spotted and we headed that way. This was not our day for dogs, though. On the way we were completely side-tracked when we came across a female leopard lying on a tree branch.
After we had photographed her for some time she came down from the tree to start walking around with us close behind as she traversed open plains, walked sedately down the road, and passed through bushy areas … every possible terrain as a backdrop for our images.
As she walked along, she called intermittently – such an awesome sound! We remained with her until lunchtime.
This afternoon we wanted to search for the dogs again – and again we were side-tracked – by the same leopard. We found her less than a kilometre from the camp, and followed her as she led us straight back to the Lodge – where she disappeared somewhere near the swimming pool.
By now we just had time for a quick visit to the hyena den, where a 9-month old and a 4-month old were playing some vigorous game that seemed to have no rules, but engendered a lot of rolling around and fun.
After sundowners we started back to camp and this time stopped for a chameleon that posed on a small branch.
Maybe we will try to find the Wild Dogs again tomorrow …