Leopards in the desert

Tonight one of our guides saw a leopard on a drive down south from the lodge. At Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge we are in a hyper arid desert (a real desert, in layman's terms.) To see a leopard here in your life has got to be a special experience. Recently, though, on Namib Rand Nature Reserve we have seen quiet a few.

I have seen leopards three times this year here on the reserve. The first sighting was on a walk with birders. It was my guest, looking up at the hills looking for Rockrunner who saw the leopard.

Then came a sighting at bushman's Koppie, a hill 16 kilometers south of here. It was beginning to rain as we drove around the hill. The one leopard was out on the road and the other (probably the mother) was back in the hill. The young one approached the vehicle enough to make me back off a bit.

We watched them climb on rocks, play with each other, and study us. It was amazing. Despite guiding for 10 years now in the Namib, I still had to pinch myself to remind me that we are in a desert. Leopards are really amazing predators - so adaptable, living in proper central African rain forests, mountain forests, through to deserts!

In my time in the Namib I have seen one leopard in Damaraland, and about ten sightings in the desert. This is more than I have seen in any other area. I have seen some leopards in Etosha, some in kenyan wildlife parks, and some in South Africa. But it is the leopards in the Namib for which I count myself very lucky to have seen.

I've added a link to a book about Leopards at Amazon. It's from Lex Hes, who I once had as a guest.

The Leopards of Londolozi
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About Me said...

WoW! Sounds like an amazing experience!