An Incredible Leopard Encounter in Mashatu

Heading out for our regular day-to-sundowner was an event, as always. It’s been a full day of travelling and administrative paperwork preparing the students to start their 55-day Field Guide course. The students hotly anticipated their first proper bush activity.

A beautiful surprise

We decided to head to a fantastic lookout spot called Pitsane Hill, about half an hour’s drive away, along a dry riverbed. A beautiful route that takes us through mopane veld down to a beautiful rolling clearing filled with a field of yellow devil’s thorns. The scenery and landscape are dreamy enough on their own, but from atop the hill, they take your breath away.

While all were enjoying the view and enjoying some laughs and camaraderie, I sat aside to contemplate and start internally planning this month’s adventures. Suddenly, a sound caught my attention from the periphery of my awareness. But I couldn’t place why it had brought me out of my thoughts. As I sat a moment more, it sounded louder this time. A leopard!

Spotting a magnificent leopard

I sprang forward and quickly gathered everyone to the highest point where we could see down the river and bade them listen in case it called again. Something even more magic happened. One of the students glimpses it. A large male leopard casually strolled down the river we had just driven along.

Getting a closer look

We quickly gathered our things and headed back down the hill to see if we could intercept him on his patrol, but as these things always do, every animal seemed to want to come out as we had our mission location. Giraffes, warthogs, gambolling impala, and even a large herd of elephants with feisty youngsters served to try to set us off course. We were not to be distracted. We entered the river at a crossing, and soon, in the distance, I saw it. The male had waited for us.

A magical encounter

At first, it seemed shy of the vehicle, but after a few minutes, it decided that we were welcome and walked right up. It walked next to us for the next 15 minutes, showing us a glimpse into its life. Scent marking, sniffing every hanging branch on his course.

As quickly as it appeared, it hopped onto the bank and melted into the darkness, as only a leopard can, and all that was left was a vehicle of beaming faces on the 2nd day of their Safari adventure.

Magical Mashatu. You always astound us.

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Interview with Tere Abumohor

We met with Tere Abumohor after completing her EcoTraining 55-day Field Guide course. Adventurous, vibrant with a zest for life! Having a dream of coming to Africa, she joined EcoTraining’s 55-day Field Guide course, and today, she is very proud of being able to Guide in Africa.

She is passionate about filming her adventures and sharing them with the world. Loving life and experiencing the African bush was a great adventure!

Watch Tere in this video as she describes what the 55-Day Field Guide course meant to her.

About the Author:
Picture of Michael Anderson

Michael Anderson

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