Okavango Delta – Hunting the wily leopard

There has been leopard sighting in the area. In fact, a number of species were complaining loudly and bitterly last night about feline predators. This morning there were tracks overlying those of the guides from last night who went out tracking. So after waking at 0530, having breakfast at 0600 we clambered into our land rovers to track leopards.

Guess what? No leopards.

We saw a terrapin, bones from old kills, more birds. Zebras –  did I mention how cool the zebras are? They are not simply black and white but include shades of grey to golden brown to sienna in both stripes and their coats. Many manes are gleaming with red highlights and backs are dusted with color.

More birds – lots and lots of birds along with Kudus, Impala, Steenbok, Bush Buck, Tsetsebe, and more zebras. More than the occasional elephant and a journey of giraffes. Since this is the start of fall – most of the young are six months + with only the rare obvious really youngling.

We didn’t stop at the hippos today which didn’t stop me from trying to capture their rather large mouths and teeth from a distance. The same with the vultures. No need to get up close and personal. This evening we saw a lot hanging around. No 19 vulture tree but a significant number of trees with small groupings all facing the same direction. That direction as it turned out represented a dead adult giraffe. Not a mark on the beast; intact skin would indicate cause of death not attributable to a large predator. The flies had certainly found him and the stench was incredible.

We are assuming that it shouldn’t take too long to attract the hyenas and wild dogs who will have a feast. Not being a large cat kill – they won’t be interested or looking for a share.

The evening ended with a barbecue under the starts. I am sitting in one of the vehicles quietly typing. Truth is that I have had more than enough of people for the moment and had planned on skipping dinner in favor of a few hours of peace and quiet. I don’t normally do this much togetherness without being able to get away by myself for hours here, half a day there. There was an announcement at noon: I missed it.

Now to see what is on tonights menu.

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3 Responses to Okavango Delta – Hunting the wily leopard

  1. Valerie says:

    Am very much enjoying your Africa commentary. We are off there later this year ourselves visiting Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and finishing in Cape Town. Have been to South Africa several times – lots of different game parks – but there are some things on my list I am hoping to tick off on this visit going that much further north provides greater opportunity for different species.

    I love Africa, was brought up with the English ‘colonies’ and have been fascinated with the place every since I was a child. My sister lives in SA which helped with visiting.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip.

  2. AlisonH says:

    I have been told by someone who’s taken a similar tour (who learned the hard way) that if an elephant is flapping its ears it is warning you to go away fast. My friend Colette snapped photos of the charging elephant as the guide in their Range Rover was flooring it the heck out of there.

    I love that you get to see all these things!

  3. Chere' says:

    Love hearing about all the critters but the image from a few days ago is still with me, knowing as I do how lions prefer to kill.

    Life finds a way, indeed.

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