A leopard descending from its leafy larder is an iconic dish from Mara North Conservancy’s table, but nothing to get ‘Spot’ out of bed, despite the cat being a magnificent male. What happened next ripped the covers off as the cat approached, then circled the vehicle making the inhabitants feel like Custer at Little Big Horn.
‘This is not usual’ whispered the guide, his fingers twitching on the ignition as the dappled assassin crouched right next to the back seats. For five minutes the leopard’s head oscillated to and fro just inches from a motionless Welshman.
Gareth said nothing, barely in control of his faculties. Lions and cheetahs are known to inspect vehicles playfully but a male leopard – ‘Pinker-nose’ – never. Eventually after seemingly wanting to get better acquainted with Gareth he strode off, his beat taking to him to the next Kicheche landcruiser to repeat his examination.
Gareth is no slouch in terms of safari pedigree but: ‘that was the best wildlife experience of my life’ he gasped, with a smile that remained all day.
Welcome to Kicheche, lucky he chose the right coloured trousers that morning.
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