Wildlife Viewing: Leopard
On safari in Kruger National Park and Motswari Game Reserve
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« After we had already spotted four of the "Big Five" on our first day in Kruger National Park we left our overnight camp - Skukuza - early the next morning for another game drive in Kruger National Park before heading on to Motswari Game Reserve. On that game drive Hannes - our driver - suddenly stopped the bus and pointed out to something moving in the bush: a leopard! So we had seen all of the "Big Five" even before we arrived at Motswari Game Reserve, but it was still to get better. By the way, for spotting the leopard Hannes got a springbock - a very nice shooter - sponsored by each member of the group after dinner at Motswari that evening. Fortunately he didn't have to drive the next morning after having had 16 shooters the evening before, but at least he should have slept very well that night. »
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« Spotting a leopard is already something special, but to see mating leopards from a distance of only a few meters is something that only a few people ever have seen live. Only one of the Motswari rangers had seen mating leopards six years before and they do game drives nearly every day. By the end of that game drive Brendon - our tour manager - told us, that this was the best game drive he ever had done, although he had grown up near the Kruger National Park and was a trained ranger himself.
The smaller one of the two leopards is the female and they together stroll around a few minutes ...
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... before they actually mate. The mating itself takes only half a minute and afterwards ...
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... both leopards - here the male - have a rest of few minutes, before they start strolling around again. As leopards are loners and only meet for mating, after approximately two weeks they both go back into their territories and the female later raises her one cub on her own. And because leopards only meet for mating and it is hard to spot them anyway, we really got an experience of a lifetime. »
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