Today’s blog is not about the food.
Instead I want to share an exciting scene that happened over lunch.
A few mornings ago, about three days after Salum’s leopard story, Saidi who is one of our waiters came rushing into the office and just said “Leopard!”
Walter and I quickly made our way to the lounge where the rest of the front of house staff were all looking at the area around the waterhole.
And then we spotted it! A leopard in broad daylight right at our doorstep!
It was a beautiful female leopard staring right at us. It is absolutely fabulous and a little bit scary to be standing in the open main area and have a leopard staring right at you! She then moved into the shade behind a palm bush for some cool and comfort and so we went back to our doings.
When the guests arrived back from their morning activity, we mentioned the excitement and everyone kept a close eye on the pool.
There were some baboons coming closer to drink as well as some impala, and none of the animals made any warning sounds, so the rest of the guides said that the leopard must have gone, she’s not there anymore and so on. Meanwhile we looked at the lions dubbed the three musketeers on the next plain beneath Christopher’s Baobab, sprawled out with their legs in the air like only lions can.
So we went to have lunch in the Eagle’s Nest, the elevated spot we serve meals at on occasion above the study. We had a lovely lunch of Carbonara Pasta, Melanzane, Calamari Salad and a few other things, finishing off with a dessert of Apple Fritters with some local honey and cream when the impala eventually decided to make their way and drink some water down below.
All of a sudden there was a loud crack, all you could see were impala scattering, one impala literally ran across the water to the other side and all of them made very loud alarm calls. Then, to the right of the waterhole, we saw her! The leopard had caught an impala! She was holding it down by the neck and the rest of the antelopes were standing around sounding their short snorting calls. Jessica & Simon, the two guests here to witness it all snapped away on their cameras to get an image of the excitement unfolding right in front of our eyes. We all stood there, spellbound by what we were seeing unfolding just in front of us. Then, the leopard made her way with her prize into the bushes and all the other impala ran away. An eerie silence followed as we sat down again in awe, discussing what just took place.
Jessica Wilde took the winning shot you see here below and very kindly forwarded it on to us so we can use it in the blog.
But this is not where the story ends.
If you’re squeamish stop reading here.
Today, when we went down to our Lookout Banda we came upon a grizzly scene. It seems the leopard had dragged her quarry down into the open stone-and-makuti building just below the main area.
It was quite gruesome, a bit like a crime scene with all the evidence left behind. The leopard had eaten most of her prey in the little area where we wash up, blood everywhere and stomach contents spilled on the floor – a forensic bloodstain pattern analyst could have given a complete story there was so much left behind to work from.
Heribert and myself followed the tracks of both leopard and hyena on the stone floor, it would appear that the leopard had hastily dragged the carcass through the main open area of the lookout banda, right across the width of it, and over the ledge, jumped down about two meters and made off with her victim. The hyena following but stopped at the edge as it is quite a plunge to the bottom.
It is absolutely amazing to think that this all took place so close to us. And some guests wonder why we insist on walking them back to their bandas!