HomeWildlifeIn Search of a Leopard

In Search of a Leopard

With a wilderness space spanning 76,600 acres (30,000 hectares), we at Mashatu Recreation Reserve would by no means be so brazen as to ensure a sighting of any explicit sort. Mom Nature has her personal methods and all we promise is that she’s going to entertain, enthral and captivate our visitors.

On the highest of most individuals’s bucket listing to see or {photograph} is the elusive leopard.  Mashatu has a popularity amongst safari goers and photographers from all over the world as a vacation spot with a excessive potential of leopard sightings.  Recognizing at the very least one leopard per recreation drive is just not uncommon and a few days as many as three or 4 are seen.

Recognized to be amongst probably the most secretive of the large cats, leopards are troublesome to hint and find within the wild.  Our group of skilled guides and trackers have all of the talent and expertise to search out them, whereas concurrently guiding you thru the opposite fantastic issues Mashatu has to supply.

Whether or not you might be ambling alongside within the safari car overlooking the open plains on the impalas and zebras grazing, or giraffes looking from the treetops or maybe stopping to soak up an impressive sundown, your information and tracker group can be in search of indicators of all of the cats, together with the leopard.

As they drive alongside they could instantly cease the engine of the car and sit quietly for a couple of minutes.  Maybe it was the sounds of monkeys or squirrels alarm calling, and even the staccato cackling of guineafowl alerting them to the potential presence of a predator.

Sitting in silence they’ll strive collect extra data, whilst you take within the lovely environment.  Pay attention fastidiously and you could hear what they hear. The path from which the alarm calling is coming and the path wherein it’s transferring.

Leopards talk with one another by distinctive calls, a male will alert a rival leopard of his presence by making a hoarse, raspy cough. If you happen to interact all of your senses you may additionally hear the deep, low-pitched, sound which your information is instinctively tuned in to listen to. With affirmation that it’s a leopard, your information and tracker will begin to actively seek for it.

Leopards are solitary and spend most of their time alone inside their very own territories.  If you happen to catch the unmistakable scent of popcorn whereas driving round, likelihood is there’s a leopard that has simply handed by. They depart scratches on bushes, poop and urine scent marks (which odor similar to buttered popcorn) to mark their territories.

Now the search is on and also you’ll discover your tracker watching the bottom fastidiously, in search of the tracks of a leopard that has not too long ago handed by. In the event that they choose up the observe, the search turns into simpler, as they will set up how way back it handed by and what path it’s transferring in.  There are different visible clues they could search for, if the leopard has not too long ago made a kill there could also be drag marks from it pulling the unlucky prey to a secure place, usually excessive up in a tree.

There’s a beautiful sense of anticipation as you might be closing in. At this level of the search, it’s largely visible however all senses are nonetheless engaged.  The group can be scanning the realm from the drainage strains to each department of the large Mashatu bushes and similar to that they’ll choose up the swish of a tail, a fast flash of a motion by the shrub or a quiet growl.  A leopard is discovered.

Seeing a leopard within the wild is all the time thrilling, however much more so is the seek for it – immerse your self, indulge all of your senses – and the thrill of that first sighting of the leopard will stay with you ceaselessly.

by Janet Kleyn

 

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