Leopard on a Rock

Early one morning, we left our camp in the Kogatende area of the northern Serengeti while it was still dark. My guide, William, asked me in jest, what animals I was hoping to see. My response was, “Leopards, cheetahs and rhinos!” Serengeti has a very, very small population of rhinos, so William assured me that there was a low probability of seeing them. As he was talking, he pointed and said, “Look there! There’s a hyena.” and sure enough, in the middle of the road was a hyena. William noted that it was following something, and he pointed again and said, “Leopard!” He was a young male leopard who was trying desperately to shake the hyena off his tail. Hyenas will try to steal carcasses from leopards, and this cat wanted no part of it. William and I followed the leopard who walked over to the kopje rocks. He jumped up onto a tree and leapt onto the big granite rock. He sat there and watched us for a very long time. He held so still, that the klipspringer antelopes began to emerge from the rocks, and he made no move to catch them. The hyena lost interest and chased after something else. William and I drove off and soon found a cheetah.

September 2020 in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

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