Written by: Sven Liebchen from Authentic Tanzania
We were heading back to Kilimatonge Wilderness Camp in Ruaha National Park after our evening game drive when we saw the leopard who regularly visits the camp. He was walking along the road, without a care in the world, when he suddenly heard distress noises coming from the tall grass behind our safari vehicle. We took the binoculars and scanned the area where the leopard’s attention was fixed.
Then we spotted it! And he had too. He started sneaking from one tree to the other, keeping his body low to the grass so that his presence wouldn’t be given away. He was stalking a little impala calf, which had been left behind by its mother.
It could be that the mother had seen the leopard and hidden her calf to protect it, but the little one had given herself away with an ill-timed call. However the calf may also have been abandoned, or become lost after falling behind the rest of the herd.
We positioned ourselves to watch the action unfold as the leopard stalked closer and closer. The young impala had no chance.
He pounced on the little calf, and we then watched him take his dinner up a baobab tree. While he sat there having his starters, we started drinking our sundowners and watched for a while. The light was perfect for us to take some pictures before we made our way back to camp for our own dinner. No impala for us, just yummy roast beef with all the trimmings!