One of my favourite sightings of our 2019 trip to the Kruger happened on the morning after my wife and I stayed at Tamboti Tented Camp. We had a braai/barbecue the night before and whilst we were eating our meal we were discussing what we would really like to see. One of the things that I raised was that I’d really like to spend one on one time with the leopard close-up (i.e. we were the only car on the sighting).
The next day we woke early to be one of the first cars out of the gate and we headed back to the H7, turned left and headed towards Satara. There had been quite a few sightings of wild dogs along the H7 the previous days so I was hopeful that we may get lucky and see some wild dogs. However, there were not too many sightings along the H7 and as we got to the S39 we turned left on the S39 and decided to take that road to Satara.
Shortly after turning onto the S39 we came across a large herd of Buffalo. They were all over the road and we’re not moving at all. They were very relaxed so we slowly made our way through the group but there were times where we were very close to the buffalo. They were not bothered by us though, they were more intent on getting their breakfast.
Approximately two thirds of the way down the S39 we came across a leopard sitting all alone on the side of the road. We slowly approach the leopard and as the leopard was very relaxed it came out from the side of the road and sat in front of the car with us for a few minutes. He wasn’t bothered by us at all and after a few minutes he headed into the bush and was gone. It was such an exhilarating few minutes as it was one thing that I was really hoping we would be able to see.
After the Leopard sighting my wife and I high fived each other and were very excited. My wife turned to me and said “well you asked for a leopard one on one and you got it, what’s next?” and I replied “I don’t want to be greedy but maybe a big male lion walking towards the car”, to which she laughed and said “you don’t ask for much do you, but I guess you never know”. After this we made our way back to Satara for breakfast.