This sighting was one of the sightings that really surprised me as I still to this day do not know how I spotted this. My wife and I have just returned from a morning drive around the Satara area, we had breakfast and my wife decided that she wanted to rest back at camp. So I decided to do a drive before returning for an afternoon nap. During the morning drive I’d heard about some lions close to Orpen, so I decided that I would take the H7 to Orpen and look for the lions that I’d been told about. Also, I’d heard that there were some wild dogs in the area so I was quite keen to travel this road in the hope of seeing the lions or wild dogs. The H7 is a hard road and I was travelling the lowest speed that I could with cruise control on, which was 40 km/h.
Whilst driving down the H7 I’d come across a few sightings like elephants, zebras and impala but have not seen anything significant. As I was driving I saw the below site and I thought hang on a second there’s something in that tree.
I reversed the car to where I could see through the bushes and what I actually spotted was a Impala carcass hanging in the tree. Initially I had not seen anything else but after looking at the surrounding area I spotted a leopard in the V of the tree. To this day I don’t know how I spotted the Impala because it was quite far (the photos are taken with full zoom on my camera) from the road and it was only a small glimpse that I had through the bushes.
After positioning myself in the best position because there was only a couple of spots where you could see through the bushes and see the tree and leopard, I decided to wait a while to see what would happen. About 10 minutes after I arrived a few other car started to arrive and a number of them were not able to see what we were looking at and moved on but the couple of cars that had stopped and asked me what I was looking at were able to position themselves and also see the leopard in the tree. The leopard remained stationary for about 10 minutes and then decided that it wanted to move the carcass. So the leopard walked up the branch picked up the Impala carcass and on the way down, dropped the carcass to the ground. The leopard then walk down the branch and jumped onto the ground and that was the last we saw of it. I waited for a good 5 to 10 minutes to see if it would come back but there was no hope of it coming back as it had taken its lunch and was moving to another spot.
So I continued on my journey and unfortunately I did not locate the lines for the wild dogs but was still thrilled to have seen the leopard. Looking back at the pictures now it still is quite a thrilling experience as there were no cars on the sides and I had spotted it by myself whilst heading towards another sighting.
Apologies for the blurry photos but the distance made it hard for good photos.