Safaris & stories
Africa Geographic
Wildlife . People . Travel
Shenton Safaris
leopard in a tree
© Katharina Preusser

Written by Norman Chauke, EcoTraining Instructor

It was just another adventurous and entertaining day in the African bushveld. The students of the 28-day Safari Guide course and I, the Tracking Instructor, decided that we were going to explore the far northern realm of the Karongwe Private Game Reserve. It was a serene afternoon and upon arrival we discovered something very interesting.

We had spotted a young male leopard who had moments ago succeeded in killing a nyala. He was very attentive of his surroundings and struggled to find cover for himself and his meal that he had worked so hard to get. Little did he know that his commotion had alerted his competition close by…

lion cub with nyala carcass
© Katharina Preusser

A lioness and her four cubs had turned up, and started making their way towards the leopard and his kill. The leopard spotted the approaching lions and made a desperate attempt to drag the carcass up the tree, but was unable to do so.

lioness and cubs eating nyala carcass
© Katharina Preusser

The lioness chased the leopard up a tamboti tree forcing him to relinquish his kill on the ground below.

The displeased leopard was unable to do anything against these lions, but could only watch as they helped themselves to the free meal provided by him. His survival instincts told him to stay up in the tree to avoid becoming their next meal, but he was not shy to express his discontentment.

unhappy leopard in a tree
© Katharina Preusser

The leopard constantly hissed and growled at the lions, making sure they knew how he felt and hopefully they would be intimidated and leave him a bit of his remaining nyala kill.

Eventually we had to move on from this exciting sighting, and we would never know if the lions were gracious enough to leave anything for the leopard. I guess in some instances, sharing is certainly not caring, as the saying goes.

dejected-looking leopard in a tree
© Katharina Preusser
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EcoTraining is a passionate environmentally-conscious company specialising in the training of nature-guides and those with a deep appreciation of the natural world. We provide participants on our courses with amazing life-changing experiences. Courses are run in simple unfenced bush camps.