2021-02-15: Monochrome Monday

I can’t see an image of a male kudu without hearing the voice of my guide Harley, from Chitwa Chitwa, saying “So Majestic!” I’d never had a guide before that had an antelope as a favourite animal, but they are very impressive creatures, especially when you get a chance to see them out in the open.

2020-12-13: Leopards at Chitwa Chitwa

Sometimes there are a lot of vehicles all trying to see the same thing, and rangers operate on a first come, first served basis at a sighting, (usually a maximum of three vehicles) and then everyone else puts their name on a list. It’s always been my experience that all the rangers involved do their very best to maximize the viewing for their guests, while still being fair to try and allow everyone to opportunity to have a view. In this situation, we were pretty far down the list on this sighting that happened during afternoon drive, and we were all hopeful that perhaps we would get a glimpse of a leopard before nightfall.

The groups before us only saw the mother leopard. They knew the cub was somewhere in the thicket, but it wasn’t interested in making itself seen at that time. Harley, our guide, navigated our vehicle to the best spot he could find, and after the other vehicle that was there cleared off, the cub popped its head out of the bushes and made its way down to spend some time with Mom. We had a short while enjoying the sighting, and then a second vehicle came along to also get a quick view of the leopards before nightfall. I think it was the second vehicle that spooked the cub back into the thicket, so our vehicle ended up being the only one to see both mother and cub during that sighting. We headed off to give the other vehicle the best viewing spot, and enjoyed a sundowner a short while later.

Can you spot the cub?

2020-11-08: Hosana

I spent part of my last game drive at Chitwa Chitwa with a gorgeous male leopard called Hosana. I don’t often have time to catch any of the virtual safari shows that are shown on Twitter or Facebook, but one of the times I did check in briefly, before my last trip, he was featured, so seeing him “in person” so to speak was quite cool. Kind of the same feeling I get when I watch a nature show filmed somewhere I’ve been, and I actually recognize a landmark; a little point of connection to a place far away, but close to my heart.

Getting three images edited today doesn’t seem like much, but it was more than I had anticipated I would be able to do, so I’ll take it.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead.

2020-08-17: Monochrome Monday

By this time of the day, this is pretty much how I am feeling. I think it’s time for a bit of a lazy evening.

A mother leopard catches a few zzz’s while her was safely tucked away in the bushes behind her. Viewed while staying at Chitwa Chitwa lodge.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week.

2019-10-13: Leopards

I finished off last Sunday’s post with the promise of sharing a few more leopard images this week, and here they are.

I was fortunate enough to spend time with this mother leopard and her cub on a couple of different occasions, in slightly different areas, providing a nice variety of images.  All the ones shared today though were taken on the same morning.

I hope you enjoy the selection below.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving today; I hope you have the opportunity to share the day with people that you care about, and can take some time to reflect on all the things to be thankful for.

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Five seconds that felt more like five minutes.  This tracker remained calm and completely still when the leopard stopped by and checked him out. 

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Once Mom was away from the kill in the tree, and out in the open, the cub came out of hiding.

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Greetings between mama and her cub.

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I like to share images like this to show the reality of a lot of leopard sightings, which is often viewing them through trees, tall grass or other obstructions.  Still beautiful to see (of course!) and it makes the moments when they are completely out in the open that much more special.

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Something startled Mom and caused her to sit straight up and look around; the cub is quite indifferent and sniffing an interesting spot of grass (which reminds me of walks with my dog!)

2019-10-06: Feasting Leopard

I said this month was going to be freestyle for my Sunday posts, and as I was going through my catalogue earlier in the week, I was taken by images of this leopard and decided to edit a few to share.

One of the things I love about being in the bush is witnessing some of the drama that unfolds.  This sighting was definitely more than met the eye at first glance.

The previous evening, we had very briefly driven to this area, as there was a leopard on an impala kill.  It was getting dark though, so we decided to carry on and make this area our first stop the next day.  When we headed out on our morning drive from Chitwa Chitwa, other vehicles were already at the sighting, so we had to wait a bit, but when we got there, we found a different leopard on the impala kill.  So, sometime during the night, the male leopard that we initially saw left, and this female snuck in to have an easy meal.

Things were made even more exciting by the fact that she had a cub who was also nearby, but you’ll need to check back next week to see some images of the two of them together.

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While it doesn’t look like there is much left on the impala, it was still a valuable, and free, meal for this leopard.

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If looks could kill.

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She was really working to gain access to a new spot on the carcass.

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The tracker on this vehicle had *nerves* of steel.  The leopard came down the tree, and paused in front of this vehicle and stared up at the tracker for 5 – 10 seconds before making her way off.  It doesn’t sound like a long time, but witnessing it, it sure felt like it.   The entire time he did not flinch or move a muscle.  

More of this beautiful leopard next week.  Until then, wishing you a wonderful week ahead.