Our luck with leopards this season is continuing. Usually leopard sightings are few and far between, but this last week we have had a secret weapon in our search for this most secretive of cats! Sam Ridgley came to stay with us and Sam was soon given the nickname the leopard whisperer. Sam joined 6 drives and enjoyed 3 separate leopard sightings.
The first tried to take one of the Impala we were quietly watching before realizing that there was a vehicle full of humans sitting quietly and wide eyed watching and promptly let go of the lucky impala before slinking off!
A few days later and as all three game drives headed home after sundowners, Heribert spotted a young leopard walking near the airstrip and although dark everyone got to have a good view before heading home for dinner.
The next day and another leopard, this time baboons alerted us to the presence of an impressive male in the Msine river valley, who turned out to be rather relaxed, once he had eluded the baboon troop that had chased him off that is.
A 50% success rate in leopard spotting definitely earns the nickname the leopard whisperer and we would happily of kept Sam on as part of the staff in charge of big cat spotting.
Unfortunately for us Helen, Phil and George Ridgley did take him home after their safari and we had great fun with both the Ridgleys and with repeat guests David, Imogen and Isobel Fox along with Isobel’s friend Emily. It was great to see them again and enjoy another safari full of cats, hippo, elephants, fancy birds and lots of laughs.
It was not just the Fox/Ridgley group who benefited from the presence of the leopard whisperer though: The Durnford family, on their first afternoon drive were treated to a leopard on the airstrip on the way home, and then the very next day the Bradbury family enjoying their first afternoon drive got to see a big male leopard who sat calmly for a few minutes posing before heading off into the darkness.
A big thank you to Keir Davidson for his great leopard pictures he provided for this blog.