First we heard the snorting of the impala. It took only moments to find the leopard. Although it bothered me that we might be interfering with her hunt, that didn’t seem to be the case. And I thought it would bother me to see the leopard strangling the impala; surprisingly, it did not. Perhaps because this battle is between the solitary leopard that must use its own cunning and skill and the speed of the impala.
After dragging her kill quite a distance looking for the perfect tree, she finally settled on one surrounded by a dense thicket. There she proceeded to feed. According to later reports, she pretty much finished off most of the impala and left the rest rather than tree the remains. The only thing else I wished to see concerning a leopard, was to see one in a tree, sleeping.
The other cats were scarce. We didn’t find a lion until the last full day I had at Mashatu. They were all off the reserve on private land. Last year I saw them nearly everytime we went out on a game drive. I had also heard that Andrei’s big black maned boy was found dead in South Africa apparently killed by a farmer. I got the impression that no one is really sure that’s the real story…. one they’ll never know for sure. And the cheetah brothers that are sometimes seen on the reserve, were not there. I wish very much to see a live cheetah since the only one I’ve ever seen was the dead one during my last visit.