Three days of Tlangisa

04th October 2012
In december last year my family had flown up to Kruger to join me on a safari over Christmas. For the occasion we visited the andBeyond team at one of my favourite South African lodges, Exeter River Lodge, in the Sabi Sands. Of course, when visiting the Sabi Sands, one of the main interests is the leopard viewing which is usually unbelievably good and certainly better than any other reserve I have visited.

On Christmas day, it poured and poured with rain, but out we went early in the morning, looking for a 'Christmas leopard'. Near the end of our drive, on the way back to the lodge, we found her, resting on a termite mound. In the Sabi Sands, many leopards are given names as they are seen frequently and it's always interesting to keep track of the individuals- this leopard was named Tlangisa.

Over the next three days we viewed her getting hungrier and hungrier, often hunting but never successful. One night we watched as she stalked to within a few metres of a herd of impala, before they were spooked and disappeared into the darkness.

On our last morning we found her hunting again in some thick bush. As she entered a small clearing she stopped, and her tail began to twitch with great excitement. In the grass a few metres ahead of her lay an impala lamb, concealed as best as possible by its mother. She stalked closer, her tail twitches getting even more excited until the lamb decided to make a dash for it. Within seconds she was standing in front of us, holding her prize up proudly.

It is not very often than we get to witness this type of moment in nature: predator and prey both doing their best to survive. Sometimes it just all comes together! More images of Tlangisa and other Sabi Sands leopard can be found here

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