Leopard spotting in... South Africa
Nick Bradley, visited South Africa with Cox & Kings and was lucky enough to see lots of wildlife and even leopards. Here, Nick tells us about his trip.
Africa is well known for its amazing wildlife, which is of course one of the major reasons to visit the continent. The list of must-sees has to include the big five – lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes and rhinos. While lions, elephants and buffaloes can be seen relatively easily in many wildlife reserves, rhinos and leopards are a lot harder to find. However, on a recent visit to Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa, I was lucky enough to have numerous sightings of all the big five.
For me, the greatest satisfaction came from seeing leopards. Not only is the leopard an elusive cat, it is also, in my opinion, the most beautiful. I have been all over Africa on safari and never before seen a leopard, but during my brief visit to Sabi Sand, I was fortunate enough to see leopards every day – in thick grass, sleeping on trees and even walking along riverbanks.
The most memorable viewing was on a safari drive from Londolozi Camp. Leopards tend to store their kill up trees, out of the reach of hyenas and lions. It was late in the afternoon as the sun was setting when we saw a bushbuck carcass hanging on a tree branch. Suddenly, we spotted a leopard walking through the grass towards the tree; it then jumped up into its branches and started to drag the kill higher and higher up the tree. Soon we realised why, a hyena was following eagerly to get a taste of the bushbuck. For the next hour, we sat in our vehicle looking at this majestic leopard eating the bushbuck, while the hyena prowled below, hoping the kill would drop onto the ground. As daylight turned to darkness, the sky began to flicker with lightening from an approaching storm. It was a truly unforgettable experience seeing this beautiful cat in its full splendour.
If you want to see leopards, I highly recommend a visit to Sabi Sand Game Reserve, where I think you would have to count yourself very unlucky not to see one.
Cox & Kings offer a number of luxury tailor-made holidays to South Africa.