Thursday, April 24, 2008

Leopards. Wild Dogs. Magic!!

Even though the quantity and quality of sightings have definitely been picking up over the last year or so, sharing time with a Leopard in Madikwe is still a very special sighting!

To say that events at the Royal Madikwe waterhole yesterday was 'action-packed' would be a serious understatement! Could write a book on all the detail but here is the (very) short version as told by various (very lucky) observers who saw the story unfold in front of the Royal Madikwe lodge:

  • Early morning a black rhino comes to drink. Lots of baboon calls in the background.
  • Out of nowhere four Wild Dogs come running down the ridge and chase a female leopard, that up until now has gone unnoticed, up a tree. (We know her, but where are her cubs?)
  • Dogs stop in for a drink and after a while there are about fourteen Wild Dogs at the water.
  • After chilling for a while the leopard tries to get down the tree, but Wild Dog disagree and chase her right back up. Baboons still going mad in the background.
  • After loosing interest in the leopard, the Wild Dog chase and kill a young female impala in front of Suite 4. (By now the Royal Madikwe staff and builders are blown away and not sure where to look anymore!)
  • After finishing the impala in under 10 minutes the Wild Dog pack decided to move off and disappear in a southerly direction.
  • This gave the leopard a chance to come down her tree and move over to where her impala-kebab has been waiting since that morning.
  • After feeding in the tree for a good 30 minutes, she descends again and disappears into the thickets. Probably off to find her cubs.

Unbelievable stuff! Now I was only to get a few images of the female in the tree, but what a day!!

As I am now sitting here at Royal, the crows have moved in for a free meal but we know she is still around. We had a brief visual early this morning and will keep our eyes open until late tonight. Perhaps we even get a quick view of the two youngsters... Beats a movie any day!!

I will find out if any of the other guys on Photo-Africa got any images of the eventful day and will then post them as well!

As always I look forward to hearing from you!


1 comment:

Peggy said...

WOW! WOW WOW! I can only imagine the excitement as the day unfolded. Black rhino! Wild dogs! Leopard! I got excited just reading about it. As always, I look forward to "what's up next" on your blog.....always interesting :)