We had game drives on 8 days in September in the eastern Okavango region in Botswana, and enjoyed prolonged leopard encounters on every one of those days.
The first 3 nights were in the dry Savute Reserve, and the subsequent 4 in the Khwai community area which is immediately adjacent to both the Khwai Concession and the Moremi Reserve.
The leopard is my favourite cat - its combination of power and grace, combined with perfect adaptation to a solitary hunting lifestyle makes a more purposeful impression than the delicate cheetah, while it lacks the torpor and social aggression of the lion.
We had encounters of all types: in the open, in trees, with cubs, at the beginning and ends of the day, and at high noon. These including witnessing a 3-day struggle between a leopard and a persistent hyena over an impala kill (see my earlier post “Patience Rewarded”).
I am enormously grateful to our guides P-man and July, without whose skill I would never have got any of these images.
Apparently the best way to tell leopards apart is by studying the pattern of spots above the mouth and on the cheek: how many individuals do you think there are here?
Collective noun for leopards?
A ‘leap’ apparently.