It was early morning in the deep winter and the sun was late rising. We had just entered the Kgalagadi and were heading out on a Game drive with the sun rising to our right, heading north on the Nossob road. The mornings are simply awesome in the Kgalagadi and we were taking it all in. A cluster of cars ahead showed us something was up and as we got there, I saw in the distance on the left, up there on the dune was the leopard. His name is Botshelo, and he is the undisputed King of the Aoub river valley in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Leopards are rare to see anywhere, and in the Kgalagadi, they are few and far between. He was sun-worshipping, soaking in the warmth after a cold Kgalagadi night. The temperature in the desert in winter can go below freezing and at sunrise that day it was -3 C. He began to move and was heading east for the road. The waterhole I thought and we went straight there much to the surprise of the other motorists, who leaves a leopard sighting (?), but there is a method to my madness.
I got a perfect spot with the sun behind me at the waterhole and parked. Waited. We got our first glimpse of him through the trees and tall grass. He was in no rush, just walking along cool as can be meandering a little and then came straight for the waterhole.
What an incredible feeling to have a leopard in front of us, totally relaxed drinking. He drank for a while, I mean he must have had a kill last night because he sat and drank for some time. Always alert, head up looking around now and then and continued drinking.
Then finally stood up and gave us all a razzberry and left majestic as before. What an incredible time it was, my first Kgalagadi leopard. Awesome.