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 Post subject: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:26 am 
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How many leopards have you seen altogether? I am busy working out the total number of leopards I have seen since my first visit to the KNP since 1981 and the number seems to be a lot.

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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 2:47 pm 
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Quick mental reckoning - 20! (2 Berg-en-Dal, 2 together Shingwedzi river, 2 near Letaba, 1 S28/Duke turning, 1 S28 junction near LS, 1 high level green bridge, 1 in tree near LS causeway, 1 in tree south of S28 turning on tar, 1 in tree near Gormondwane turning, 1 in tree near malelane gate, 1 on Maroela loop, 1 near Mpondo dam, 1 near Transport dam, 1 near Phabeni road, 1 in Addo, 1 near Nkuhlu, 1 north of Tskokwane). Probably lots more 'misses' because I avoid sighting jams.

Oh - and that is in 3 and a half years.

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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:46 pm 
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Believe it or not, I was fortunate enough to see a leopard crossing the road on my very first trip to KNP back in 81. Thereafter things just got better and better...leopards, leopards and more leopards.
This leopard was seen on the way to Skukuza coming from Numbi. LOG.
On the way down from Oliphants to Satara a few km before Satara LIT
Satara to Orpen-LIT
Satara to Orpen-LOG
Orpen to Talamati-LIB
Near Muzandzeni-LOG
On the road to Rabelias-2XLOG
After Afsaal LOG close to the road
Skukuza TO Paul Kruger-LIB
Skukuza to LS-LOG
Skukuza to LS-LOG
Skukuza to LS-LWC
Skukuza to LS-LOG
Malelane to Skukuza-LOG
Malelane night driveLIT+LOG=ML(mating leopards)
Malelane to Skukuza-LIT
Malelane to Skukuza-LIT
Malelane to Skukuza-LIT
Tshokwane to Skukuza-LOG
LS to CB-LWC
Therefore, all told I have seen twenty two leopards to date.
The most on any one trip was back in 2004 when we saw 3 in one day and another two a few days later during our sunset drive from Malelane, making it 5 in one trip.
Still 05-06-07-08 and 09 to come

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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:11 am 
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Must be around 18....and 13 of which I have photographical evidence... This means on average one per KNP visit...

Haven't been north of Mopanie much, but I have to admit especially around Berg-en-Dal and Skukuza. Lately, I am struggling to find them compared to other years... I don't know why though!

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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:13 am 
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Bush Baptist wrote:
21 in total.
1 in Eto.....
4 in Kgal and
6 in Kruger.


:lol: And the rest? Wasn't that inside Croc Bridge, on the big screen :twisted: :lol: :tongue:

:thumbs_up:

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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:30 am 
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I have never kept track :hmz: :? And I also 'saw' some when i was still too young to make an actual note :D

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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:25 am 
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The most graceful, elegant, powerful cat, I believe. I vividly recall one sighting near Punda Maria some years back. There was a boring discussion going on about business matters in camp, so I opted to exit and seek amazing things.

At that time, Punda Maria was not the best hunting ground for me. However, it was 3.30 on a hot summer afternoon, and I expected the usual herbivores. Suddenly, about 5 km from camp, sidling along down the very middle of the tar road was His Royal Majesty. He took no notice of me, except for the occasional backward glance.

A second car arrived and he reluctantly strolled off the road into the knee-high grass. Out of sight was he in a matter of seconds. The area that he had entered was, fortunately for me, below the level of the road and, there having been a recent fire, the bushes were scarce. Only grassland and a leopard - I whetted my lips.

In those days, I was less observant of Park laws when faced with such an exciting sighting as a leopard. So I parked my car parallel to the road, and stood on the driver's door-ledge. I was perfectly positioned so that I could see over the car roof and I had my binoculars trained on every grass stalk. The leopard had no chance of evading me, especially as my eyes were like a hawks, so excited was I. I didn't miss the slightest movement, be it butterfly or fly.

Nothing for the next ten minutes, so I figured he had crouched down behind one of the few bushes, in a declivity in the savannah. I knew that the second he moved I would pick him up.

Another ten minutes passed and I could not see any movement. By now, two other cars were searching where I had suggested he was. I figured, in the heat, that he had decided to lay low until we moved off. I then realised that perhaps my exposed frame wasn't helping matters. So, I slipped somewhat reluctantly back into my driver's seat and continued to look with binocs.

It was almost 25 minutes when something caught my peripheral vision. I glanced down the road and, shocked, I realised that he had completely and utterly outwitted not only me, but the other people as well!

At that moment - with dented ego and in stunned silence - I knew, beyond any doubt, what a stealthy, superior creature he was in his own habitat. I had not missed a beat, vigilantly watching every movement - and, yet, he had fully eluded me. What chance could we possibly have on foot?

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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:52 am 
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Aaah, I found my "Leopard List"! Here goes:

Berg'nDal area:
1) Crossed road S110 just outside gate early morning as we left camp
2) Sleeping on koppie on left hand side of S110 as we were on our way to camp, this was about 11h00
Image centre of picture
3) Crossed road in front of us at the Matjulu loop S110 T-junction with road to the Matjulu dam, early morning
4) H3 (between S120 & S110) leopard in tree with impala (03/01/03, 7h10)
Image This was the last leopard we've seen in Kruger...
5) Leopard walking on side of road S120 Steilberg road (31/03/02, 7h15)
Image
6) Leopard on one side of S120 Steilberg road first, then crossing the road to the other side, early morning
Image
7) Leopard in tree on H3 Makhutlwanini hill, just before Afsaal coming from Skukuza, mid-morning

Skukuza area:
8- H1-2 Leopard in tree (this was our second leopard, 17/03/01), mid-morning
Image
9) Leopard strolling in dirt road, S42, towards Nursery/Bird hide, about 7h00
10) Saw leopard kill impala on H1-2 (28/03/02, at 10h00!)
Image

Lower Sabie area:
11) H4-1 Leopard in tree, early morning
12) S21, moving leopard, not far from T-juction with H4-1, early morning
Image
13) H4-1 Crossing road behind us early morning....we missed its eyes with the spotlight! (our first leopard sighting)
14) Corner of H4-1 & S79, also early morning - got this ones eyes with the spotlight!
Image

Croc.Bridge area:
15) H4-2 Leopard in tree, close to Croc. Bridge, mid-afternoon

Satara area:
16) On night drive, leopard in tree, then on ground S127
17) H7 near Nsemani 18h05, 31/12/02, about 18h00 (was nice way to end year!)

Outside Kruger:
18) Leopard on night drive in Umfolozi/Hluhluwe KZN

For us the best area for leopard = Berg'nDal
and the best time for leopard = 7h00 in the morning

But , all in all, it is being at the right place at the right time again!
We visited Kruger at least once a year for a week from 1996 to 2005 and only saw our first leopard in 2000 (after four years!) and then nothing since January 2003....

I am VERY READY to see more leopard this year!


Edit: Sorry, see I resized the photos too small!

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24/11 - 27/11 Lower Sabie
28/11 - 1/12 Olifants
2/12 - 5/12 Skukuza
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12/12 - 18/12 Satara
19/12 - 22/12 Berg-en-Dal


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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 4:02 pm 
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Hi Guys, very interesting topic.

I've been fortunate to see a leopard on most of my trips to the park. :D

I've given it thought & as far as I can remember here goes my list.

1 - H3 : +- 1km from Malelane gate, resting with impala kill in tree, late afternoon b4 6pm.
2 - H3 : +- 2km from Malelane gate resting in tree, late afternoon b4 5:30pm.
3 - H3 : opposite Kwaggaspan feeding on impala kill in tree with lone hyaena at base, early morning b4 7:30am.
4 - H3 : 400m north of Kwaggaspan ,hunting. Seen a few minutes before spotting " no.3 ", early morning b4 7:30am.

5 - S139 : +- 5km west of Biyamiti camp lying on opposite side off river under a tree.
6 - S114 : at Biyamiti weir lying in tree. Same afternoon as " no.5 ".

7 - H4-2 : after Gomondwane lying in tree, late afternoon, at about 4pm.
8 - H4-2 : just east of camp on private road taken by sunset drive, walking in the distance just b4 sunset possibly on the hunt.

9 - H4-1 : just south of Nwatimhiri, on sunset drive from LS stalking impala on right side of road. Unfortunately our presence may have interrupted the hunt, 6:15pm.
10 - H4-1: few hundred metres south of " no.9 " on same sunset drive about 30min later big male leopard also in hunting mode.

11 - H12 : leopard walking through bush, about 1pm.

12 - H1-1: leopard seen walking right next to the road near Napi with burnt bushveld as background. This was just after the fires that ravaged P/kop areas in 2007, at about 4pm.
13 - H1-1: crossing the road, at about 6:30am. [ Leopards No.3,4 & 14 all seen within an hour of each other & No.3,4,13 & 14 seen on same day]
14 - H1-1: lying on road close to S10 intersection after just entering the park at Numbi at about 5:40pm heading to P/kop camp. All alone at sighting.

15 - H11 : walking on road, seen just as entered at Paul Kruger gate, about 6:20am.

16 - H1-2: at intersection of Maroela loop a young adolescent leopard hunt and kill an impala fawn, closer to 10am.
17 - H1-2: walking in bush few hundred metres b4 Mutlumuvi about 7:30am.

18 - H1-3: resting on a bare log in rain a few km north of Tshokwane, at about 8am.
19 - H1-3: resting under tree just south of Kumana at midday.
20 - H1-3: at Mazithi in tree (middle tree) attempting to hunt impala, about 1pm.
21 - H1-3: just south of intersection of S100 resting in tree, about 2pm.
22 - H1-3: just south of Kumana sunning itself on a bare log about 6m off road, at about 10am.

23 - S100: mother with 2 cubs leading them across road at about 8am.

24 - H7 : just east of Nsemani feeding in impala kill at about 5:45pm. Only car at sighting.

TOTAL = 26 leopards.

Hope to see many more ..... :D :D :D

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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:35 am 
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I am sure that birders must have better luck with Leopards that most. I wonder how many Leopard sightings have happened because a birder has stopped to look at some feathered creature in a tree.

The closest Leopard sighting we ever had was when we stopped to look at something in the bush. We were about to drive off when the driver happened to glance down. To his amazement there was a Leopard in the long grass, under a very close tree, but almost completely invisable. It must have been 2 metres away.

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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:42 pm 
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Hi everyone! had the good fortune to see 37 leopards in 2008 in the KNP beginning on January 1st 08. Actually we saw the same leopard the day before which was our last sighting for 2007. After arriving in Malelane from a wonderful stay in Talamati, Bushkid and I decided to go into the park for our final short stint for the year.

Entered at Malelane gate and weighed our options.....

Do we drive towards Berg and Dal which often produces leopard sightings or do we drive up the S114?

After a bit of pondering, the die was cast and the decision made to drive the S114. We drove leasurely along for about a kilometer when we came across a vehicle parked to the side of the road. stopping to have a chat wih the people in the car, we learn to our utter amazement and joy that a leopard has just made a kill and taken the impala into a tree. As we look up into the chosen tree, we see the leopard still panting from the ehertion it must have endured in securing its delectable meal for the next day or two. Imagine, going out to look for a lepord and finding it within Five kilometers of the gate! having left the family behind who were exhausted from the trip down from Talamati, who wanted to cool off in the pool, we decided to phone them but found tha we had forgotten the cellphone where we were staying. the family who had spotted the elusive cat were kind enough to lend us thir phone to call and inform the rest of the family of our fabulous fortue. They, of course were more than eager to leave the pool and join us at this super sighting. We then drove back to our accommodation and found one and all still dripping with water on the main road to Jeppes Reef to which they had walked and which was not fa from where we were staying. They all jumped into the Kombi and were soon taking i the delicious sighting of a leopard in a tree with a kill busy eating to its heart's content. What a way to end the year!
This was the same leopard we saw thenext morning in the same tree with the same kill. thus, our last sighting for 2007 was our dirst sighting for 2008.

Image

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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:54 pm 
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What, wildchild - do you stay in, or around, the Park? Good fortune indeed! Great fortune, I would say! Or maybe just great observational and intuitive abilities?

37 leopards - that is indeed amazing. More than I've seen in all my trips to Kruger. Interestingly, one of my best leopard sightings was in the S114 area (but off on one of the side roads) - a late afternoon leopard lazing in a tree, until, as the sun sank, he clawed his way down, to disappear in the long grass.

Leopards still remain one of the greatest sightings I can enjoy; there's just something about their grandeur, and almost arrogant display of total control of their surroundings, that grabs the adrenaline and excites the imagination.

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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:48 pm 
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Dunno... maybe 40-50 over the past 15 years, in Kruger, Hwange, Moremi, South Luangwa (note to self, stop dropping names).

Meandering Mouse mentioned a classic phenomenan, though, a few posts back - spotting leopards while watching birds.

I was photographing a lilac breasted roller once on the Doispane Road. Got the shot, checked the rearview mirror to make sure all was clear and there was the leopard, crossing the road behind me.

Same thing happened on the low level bridge over the sabie. Trying to shoot a pied kingfisher when a leopard snuck up on us. He squeeze right past the door of our land rover. A parks vehicle screamed down the hill and forced him to turn back. We waited a while, in the same spot, and he eventually came out of the reeds again, walked past us and completed his crossing.

Best leopard day was at Shingwedzi a few years back - four leopards (in three sightings - one sighting was of a pair) in one day.

But who's counting?


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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:33 pm 
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Hi Guys and Gals - impressive!

First leopard sighting during my first trip to the KNP during 1984 (and (twice) annually since then): Over many moons we've been fortunate enough to have seen quite a couple of leopards, but the most significant - a leopard using the car's fumes to stalk impala on the H4-1 (Skukuza to LS) during my first visit - Stalking on the left side of the car (river bank), whilst unsuspecting impalas were grazing on the right hand side of the road. When the car moved forward, the leopard moved forward. Truly spectacular!

We often find leopard ± 2 to 4 kms after the green bridge (Skukuza to LS) on the left hand side in a tree - and if the leopard is not there, possibility that you will find a carcass in a tree in the same region right next to the road.

Many other leopard sightings on this road as well - in particular, the resident leopard at Sunset Dam (which was killed last year due to visitors misbehaving at a sighting of the leopard - visitors getting out of their cars, moving in too close, the poor leopard was cornered at the entrance to LS - where out of desperation, it tried to jump the electric fence... :cry: :evil: ). Luckily I was not around - I would have freaked out and doubt whether I would have been responsible for my actions...)

A mother and two cubs during Jan this year on the Skukuza to LS road.

Also on the Satara-Olifants at the Ngotso dams - where lions have chased a leopard up a tree. Have also seen leopard on the S39 (Roodewal to Timabavati Road).

Frequent leopard sightings at Tlhalabye Koppie (H3 - Malelane to Renosterpan road - Renosterpan itself as well). Also, at the Shitlhava, Nsemani and Girivana Dams (at Nsemani one evening at sunset visitors were facing the dam, whilst on the left hand side, down the embankment, a leopard was stalking impala...). :mrgreen:

If mother nature is good to us, up to three leopards per trip. Admittedly, some of them during night drives. Came back empty-handed twice since 1984..

All in all, many sightings over many years, but being my favourite animal, when is enough enough? :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: How many leopards have you seen?
Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:06 am 
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A rather distant mum (photo) and her cub on the other side of the Sabie River at Skukuza Camp (Sorry for the poor quality)

Image

And another 4 in Sabie Sands (I'll never do that again though - too posh for me despite the great sightings...)

Image

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