But, because of the unseasonably heavy rains we had to make a detour through Moremi from the South.
Judging by the sign on the track we were on, there had been no other vehicles through there that morning.
The road was quite wet and we were using 4×4 in many places, which slowed our progress, and in any case we had left fairly late so we were still on the road late morning.
The bush is very thick, and water is everywhere so the game is dispersed and as a result I wasn’t counting on seeing much of anything really, but was enjoying the scenery.
It must have been around 11 or so when I saw in the distance on the road in front of us what looked like a young lioness lying in a patch of shade. I could only make out the outline of the head silhouetted against the white sand of the track.
As we drew nearer I realised that it wasn’t a lioness but an extremely large male leopard in his prime.
He was totally unconcerned by the vehicle, but as we approached he stood up and stretched and started padding along the side of the road.
I thought he was going to move off into the thick mopani scrub, but instead he stopped at one of the shrubs and after having a good sniff, lifted up his tail, reversed slightly and sprayed the bush with his urine.
I had no camera with me, but snapped a couple of photos with my Blackberry. (Sorry the picture isn’t that great!)
Leopard’s are generally solitary and shy and secretive, and it’s not often that one gets such a good sighting, and considering I only had a few days in Botswana, I consider myself really lucky.
I also came across the three young male lions that are hanging around our Khwai Bedouin Camp, so I would say we are off to an auspicious start to the 2011 season
– Wayne Powell (Operations Manager)