Meyam Njobvu 10 June: Kaingo
Derek’s mum, Marianne Shenton comes to camp a couple of times a season for two to three weeks, and yet in spite of how often she visits you will not find a keener guest when it comes to going out on activities. This particuar morning when we got on the vehicle Marianne said “Meyam, a little leopard would be nice today”. I said “Let’s see what comes up”.
We left the camp and after only 5 minutes I heard guinea fowl making alarm calls. I slowed right down and drove very carefully to try and increase the chances of seeing what was upsetting the guineas. There, about 8 metres up the road from us was a leopard coming down from a Natal Mahogany tree, it had a young Kudu in its mouth.
I stopped and the leopard also stopped. It looked at us for a while before he jumped down and moved further away, leaving the kudu in the tree. He stopped and looked at us for a while, but finally decided that his Kudu was more important to his life and that we didn’t represent a great risk and so he returned.
Back at the tree he attempted to pull the kudu down, but he couldn’t manage as the prey was stuck in a fork about a metre from the ground. At this moment, as he was pulling it, it was interesting to see how much effort he was putting in to try and get it out. He didn’t suceed and was still very aware of us, so after some time he left it there and retreated again. We moved away to give him a chance to return and get his prey to a safer location (as this was within mouth height of lions and hyena).
Amazing that the first animal we saw after Marianne’s request was this big male leopard.