The morning started well. We found the 3 iconic Mapogo male lions with one lioness in the vicinity of one of the pans scattered in the lush summer bush. We followed 2 of the males as they picked up a scent, and lead us straight to the Ximungwe Pride of lions - 3 lionesses and 4 cubs of different ages, lazing in the tall grass. Although the cubs showed interest, the females saw the males as a nuisance, and we watched as, humorously, the lionesses kept about 30m constantly between themselves and the approaching males.
After a great coffee and amarula stop watching the antics of a pod of hippos, I was a little undecided as to what to do. As we took the first turn after the dam where we enjoyed our coffee, Colbert our tracker extraordinaire nonchalantly said, “There’s a leopard”. As we approached the female leopard lazing in the shade next to the road we realised that there was a large male leopard right next to her! For the next hour we enjoyed the romancing couple all to ourselves. We watched as the female flirted continuously and initiated mating on just one occasion.
Although already big, the male leopard is still relatively young and clearly not too confident yet. We followed the 2 cats as they approached and drank from the dam where we had been stretching our legs a mere 20minutes earlier!
Posted: Exeter Lodges by Mark Smith, Date: 18 November 2011