An elusive leopard

Though leopards are one of the more elusive animals to spot in the wild, we were lucky to see one twice on our Maasai Mara safari. Not only are they shy and solitary creatures, but they also spend a lot of time in trees, which makes them doubly hard to find. On our second day, we observed one sleeping on a branch. It was great for the eyes (with binoculars) but difficult to get a good photo of.

On our third day, we went back to the same spot, because a leopard had been spotted on another tree nearby (though I didn’t know that at the time). As we were bouncing down the dirt track on the way there, I snapped a few shots out the roof of another ubiquitous Maasai Mara creature: humans, most in the form of “matatus” gathered around wildlife. What I didn’t realize until later was that I’d captured a one-in-a-million shot of the leopard in the tree, just as he was climbing down. By the time we got there, he was walking through the grass to the tree where we’d caught him sleeping the day before. When we drove over to the first tree, we got another surprise.

Lucky shot: matutus (minivans) around a tree with a leopard in it at Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya
Lucky shot: matatus (minivans) around a tree with a leopard in it
Leopard in the grass at Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya
The leopard paces through the grass
Leopard in the grass at Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya
The leopard turns to look behind him

Leopard sleeping in a tree at Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya
Lounging in a tree
Leopard sleeping in a tree at Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya
Sweet dreams
The leopard's kill (a gazelle) in a tree a Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya
Our surprise: the leopard stored his kill (a gazelle?) in the tree

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