Ever since the unusually dry summer season arrived, and the water-dependant prey species wandered off to find reliable rivers and dams to sustain themselves, leopards have come out of the woodwork like never before. The dominant lions are focused on following the buffalo herds, and we’ve seen the Trilogy creep quietly toward areas where they can prey on their favourite. This has opened the ground for the presence of the elusive leopard. Lately, we’ve been spoilt rotten with some of the best leopard sightings on record, and we’ve managed to identify numerous individuals after regular sightings of them. You’ve been introduced to Cleo before, but here she is again, after giving guests at nThambo Tree Camp a stellar performance this morning.
Guests were out on drive, absorbing the sights and sounds of the bush, when the highly anticipated leopard sighting was called in on the radio. As soon as Luan knew it was the famous Cleo, he knew guests were in for a good sighting. Ever so slinky and highly camouflaged, leopards make a habit of disappearing rather quickly, especially in major lion territory like the Klaserie. Cleo has been around these parts for a few years, and we have racked up numerous great sightings of her. An all time favourite was one with her cub under the dark night sky, while another, more recently, was watching her expertly stalking impala in the golden light.
Today was no different as guests watched Cleo behaving in her typically relaxed manner, scanning her surroundings from her throne on top of a termite mound. She lay there for all to see and admire, gazing into the abyss with her ears twitching to pick up every sound carried in the air. She ignored the excited chatter of the nThambo guests, as she was tuned in only to the herd of impala in the distance.
Guests watched her move off her mound and slink quietly into the veld as it became obvious that she was on the hunt. After a few pauses to reassess her approach, Cleo eventually disappeared in search of breakfast, and we went in search of ours with yet another great sighting under our belts!