Traveler Story: Watching A Wild Leopard in Botswana

Natural Habitat Adventures July 31, 2017 0

“After looking for this leopard in for two days during our Botswana safari, we finally found him very early on the third morning. He was laying in the grass sunning himself in the newly rising sun.

Wild Leopard in Botswana

© Mark Fagnani

After a few minutes, he got up and stretched, scratched his claws on a tree trunk, and then started to climb into the tree.

Leopard in a tree

© Mark Fagnani

Our safari guide, Richard Avilino, guessed that the leopard might have a kill up in the tree. Leopards pull their prey into trees to keep it away from lions and other predators that will steal it from them. Sure enough, there it was, an impala stashed way up in the high branches.

Leopard with prey in a tree

© Mark Fagnani

We felt bad for the impala, but all animals have to eat, and impala are plentiful. The leopards and other predators only take what they need to survive.

Leopard kill in a tree

© Mark Fagnani

We spent almost an hour watching as the leopard ate while the sun rose higher in the sky. We were all mesmerized.

Leopard with impala in a tree

© Mark Fagnani

After some time, the leopard, with the impala head in its jaws, decided he was coming back down the tree. The branch he was walking down ended right beside our cruiser.

Leopard with impala face in its jaws

© Mark Fagnani

No one made a sound as the leopard came closer and closer. My eye was glued to the camera viewfinder, my heart was in my mouth. Was he going to jump right over us?

Leopard climbing down

© Mark Fagnani

At the very last minute, he jumped down to the right of us, then laid back down in the grass and finished off his meal.

Leopard will a kill in the grass

© Mark Fagnani

After eating, like all cats, he cleaned himself up and promptly went to sleep right in front of us.”

Mark Fagnani | Botswana Explorer Safari | May 2017

Leopard cleaning itself

© Mark Fagnani

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