Patterico's Pontifications


Africa: The Leopard

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:18 am

On one of our last nights at the Zulu Nyala reserve in South Africa, a call came over the radio. We weren’t quite sure what had been seen, but judging from our guide’s reaction, it was something big. I would never say that our guide was driving in anything but a safe and appropriate manner. But, let’s just say it was clear he wanted to get to the animal as quickly as we did.

A fellow named Tage was closer to the front of the vehicle and we believed he had heard what the animal was we were going to see.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I think he said it was an Ingwe.”

“What’s an Ingwe?” we asked.

“I don’t know,” said Tage as our open-air vehicle hurtled (responsibly! not at all in a breakneck manner!) down the dirt path. “But I’m pretty sure it’s not a giraffe.”

As it turns out, Ingwe is the Zulu word for leopard.

When we got there, we pulled up to where the other group was looking. The guide shined his spotlight. Everyone held their breath and looked around.

Then a young lady in our vehicle named Christine spotted it. “Up in the tree!” she said, and pointed.

We all looked.

And here is what we saw. Forgive the first few blurry seconds, but I wanted you to get the sense of what it was like when we first saw it.

I have many more pictures and videos to come. But I figured I’d start with an attention-getter.

28 Responses to “Africa: The Leopard”

  1. By the way, that noise at the end is someone imitating a bird, I believe, to get the leopard’s attention. The person’s identity will be withheld to protect the innocent — but it wasn’t me or Mrs. P.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  2. I suppose “Here kitty, kitty!” wasn’t in the playbook.

    Len (143e4c)

  3. Hey! When were you in South Africa?

    That’s a pretty cool video. Those open air trucks seem a little bit too…open to me. I saw one going through the Lion and Rhino preserve outside Jo’burg. They were driving right through the part of the park with a crowd of tourists in the back.

    Xmas (f72f61)

  4. Just got back a week ago. Went to Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Zambia as well (the last two as day trips), but the majority of our time was in South Africa.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  5. Thank you so much for this. It brings back the excitement all over again. I can’t believe I was there!

    Micheline (e9d676)

  6. That’s quite a video. Were you as close to the leopard as it appears? Wowie.

    no one you know (72db9b)

  7. Wait, I thought that you were under some stress as of late – was that the result of this vacation? Sure hope not.

    Dmac (ad2c6a)

  8. BTW, encountering a Grizzly at 50 yards was close enough for me, thank you very much. I was lucky that I didn’t sh-t my pants at the time.

    Dmac (ad2c6a)

  9. A more authentic conservative would have eaten the leopard instead of taking cutey cute pictures of one.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  10. So jealous! We spent a weekend in Madikwe and never got to see one of the big cats!

    NBC Breaking News (2ac8b3)

  11. I, like NBC Breaking News, also spend a weekend in Madikwe and never got to see one of the big cats!

    MayBee (2ac8b3)

  12. Fantastic!

    Funny, my little house cat moves in the same way. DNA…

    Can’t wait to hear about Zimbabwe.

    Patricia (9b018a)

  13. A more authentic conservative would have eaten the leopard instead of taking cutey cute pictures of one.

    Comment by Dustin — 11/7/2010 @ 7:41 am

    Heh. +1

    no one you know (72db9b)

  14. A friend of mine on one of those trips managed to get charged by an elephant. That made a pretty good video although it got a little shaky at the end. It’s hard to hold the camera steady when running.

    Mike K (d6b02c)

  15. So when does the taxidermist finish his work?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  16. WOW! SO cool. One of those things I’d love to do but probably never will. Enjoy the trip and stay safe.

    JEA (2b9daa)

  17. I got mountain lions twice that size in my backyard.

    Arizona Bob (e8af2b)

  18. Beautiful cat! Thanks for the video.

    bob (4d0338)

  19. Patterico,

    Did you pick-up any 100 Trillion Zimbabwean dollar bills? Or did you swing by Victoria Falls?

    Xmas (f72f61)

  20. I meant to get one of those but didn’t. Yes, we went to Victoria Falls.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  21. Patrick:

    Fantastic…It brought back memories for Terri and I as we both experienced that “wild ride” to find the Leopard. She still wants to buy a spot light for our vehicle so she can light the road ahead of us. Great times we all had ..Thanks for the video proof.


    Dick Elder (d595ee)

  22. My brother in – law’s brother did a long vid of his trip to Victoria Falls – watching the swarm of crocs at the bottom of the falls was fairly interesting – yikes.

    Dmac (ad2c6a)

  23. SPQR #15 – I think he’s done all he can do with Madame Speaker …

    Alasdair (205079)

  24. Just a cute puddy cat….not!
    Actually appears to be a large juvenile, but I’m no expert.
    Could I get one for my neighborhood, there are quite a few small, yappy dogs that need to be dealt with?

    AD-RtR/OS! (f6c1ad)

  25. Actually appears to be a large juvenile, but I’m no expert.

    That was my impression as well.

    Patterico (c218bd)

  26. I’d love to hear where you stayed, the good, the bad, the ugly… We’ve been saving for a trip there for a long time now… (Machu Pichu too.)

    My wife wants to know if you saw any Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs in Zimbabwe… we’ll probably come back with thousand of photos of wild animals and a crate full of puppies

    SteveG (cc5dc9)

  27. Darn, i was convinced that on vacation you were in switzerland, hunting the wild polanski. 🙂

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  28. Turns out Ingwe is the guides middle name……oops.

    Tage (actually Tej) (9d5747)

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