Yesterday morning we were woken up by the territorial calls of unknown male lions, and this morning began with tracking the paw prints of a leopard! Greg and Kevin put their heads together and followed the tracks into the bush where Bundu had been spotted the night before. Scouring the ground for signs of the direction in which this leopard had moved, the rangers were hot on the leopard’s trail. Sure enough, Greg caught sight of Bundu in a tree! There he was; an incredibly sleek, beautiful cat, completely at ease in the branches and clearly finishing off the remains of something tasty. Greg and Kevin rejoined their guests and revealed the exciting news. The most elusive member of the Big 5 was just off the beaten track, and we were headed right for him.
The previous night, Bundu had been spotted drinking at a dam with a full belly just before disappearing into the bush. This morning, the follow up had been a success, and we were all in for a treat. Greg pulled up at the tree he had seen Bundu in, and fortunately, the magnificent young male leopard gazed down from his position in the branches. Cameras were clicking, guests were gasping, and memories were being made!
Bundu posed perfectly before descending gracefully and sniffing the ground at the foot of the tree. He soon picked up on the scraps of an impala kill he had clearly been feasting on the day before, and began to gnaw away at the remains of the skin and bones. An incredible leopard sighting for both old-timer and first-timer guests… But it was just about to get even better!
nThambo Tree Camp joined Greg and his guests in the sighting, and a few minutes’ into the fantastic scene, Bundu’s mother, Ross Dam appeared from the veld. This leopardess is always relaxed in our presence and she has taught Bundu the same habits, and now we were being treated to both of these beauties in one sighting – something we have enjoyed since the early days with this duo. She crept in, sniffing the ground and glancing up into the tree Bundu had had his kill in, cautiously entering the scene and looking around for scraps. Soon, she approached her son and lay down beside him, but the teenager was not keen on the idea, and proceeded to snarl and growl at Ross Dam.
An incredible interaction between two of our frequently seen leopards, clearly showing how the two are still trying to feed off each other, but at the same time Bundu is growing more mature and is not embracing his mother’s presence. Superb morning with these wild cats.