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  1. #1
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    Default LEOPARD scare at CKKOR03

    I’m a professional traveler and doesn’t get scared easily but DAMN, this time I got really terrified.
    This past Saturday, on our second night, while staying at KORI 03, CKGR. The phone alarm got me up at 05:00. Took 5 minutes to make up bed and was out of the tent.

    The first thing I do, is switch on the vehicle side lights to light up camp. Then I put lamps around camp, and this time I had 4 lamps at different locations. Once all lamps are on, now the camp is lit and visibility very clear into the bushes.

    The next step is to make fire. So, after making fire, I put up the water boiling bucket on fire stand for face washing and coffee before we head for a drive.Once everything is set, I pulled up the camp chair next to the fire, because it was very cold. Before seating down, I made a round about lighting with a maglight touch and once It was clearly, I settled down, next to fire and relaxed.

    Just within a minute of sitting down, over my left shoulder, I see a BIG male leopard passing right from behind me, towards the kitchen table. I would guess, this leopard was almost 2 meters from me. First it lifted it front legs up to examine the tray on the table. At this point I slowly stood up walked in reverse, towards the vehicle.
    To my surprise, he sniffed his way to where I was seated. At this point I was inside the vehicle and believed this leopard clearly saw me and I even believe that, it saw me when I moved away.

    From around the fire, it went to the other lamp that was on the far direction and examined if there was anything next to it. Then it disappeared. I only managed to video record from inside the vehicle with my cellphone, the last part when it was sniffing around the lamp, as I was still in shock.
    Earlier this year, there was a discussion about people who feed these animals and put up water for them to drink. Now, this animals don’t fear people at all.
    What really bothers me is:
    1) What if this leopard found someone who couldn’t hold their nerves and calmly walk away, screaming and running to the car.
    2) What if I stood up, without seeing it behind me and then the leopard reacted. These scenarios are all running through my mind and it really scares me that it could have gone very bad.

    I used to believe cat, especially leopard, if you have enough lighting and fire, it would atleast stay hidden until maybe campers retreat to their tents, that’s when they will come. BUT the boldness of coming out with lots of light and seeing a human walking around scares me. I hope I doesn’t end in tears BUT …… this is a waiting bomb that is just waiting to explode.

    On leaving the reserve, I notified the DWNP officers about the incident, just to warn other campers to be aware while staying there. But all in all, trip was excellent. Mice problem seems to be solved, just an observation at camp and on drives.Lots of snakes, raptors.

    Sunday Pan was the best with lions around waterhole and cheetahs by the main pan area for two days in a row. Some trees are flowering and bees are starting to be a nuisance, though we found few at camp during the day.

    Note: Picture attached is a screenshot from the video clip I managed to get with my phone before the leopard disappeared.
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    Last edited by PAT n WOLF; 2021/09/13 at 01:01 AM.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    WOW Man, so glad this didnt turn out bad!!

    That cat sounds dangerously "tame".....this is actually so damn sad

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    Glad you are unscathed! You should send your story to mr Du Preez on the Drive Bots group.
    "If you spend most of your time in the fiction section, your life will be based on fiction"

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    Thanks for reporting Pat.

    Yep wild animals can be so unpredictable and we need to keep being reminded that in places like the CKGR, we are visitors in their environment.
    Stanley Weakley.
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  8. #5
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    I hope the lesson learnt here is don’t wake up and fiddle around at such an ungodly hour. Especially when it’s cold!

    but shoo, this really sounds like he saw the movement and the waking up and came in, just like a domestic cat would, waiting for it’s bowl of milk.
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  10. #6
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    Thanks for the report Pat, it is just a little reminder to never let your guard down in Their territory.

    If all goes to plan we'll be in CKGR in December, and with a young boy one needs to be extra vigilant.

    Reminds me of our Mabua trip 5 years ago, had 3 lions walking past our camp one evening, about 20m, however it caused some chaos with a friends wife yelling for the kids to run to the caravan
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  11. #7
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    Something we did when we last camped at Rooiputs and Polentswa. We bought a number of these little motion led lights which charges by solar. We would strategically place these around camp. When the sun is down you at least have a perimeter of in advance warning should the shadows approach you.
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  13. #8
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    I would prefer you didn't report it. Not hugely unusual and reporting can end in quite a few leopards being shot.

  14. #9
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    Quote Originally Posted by mudgrubber View Post
    I would prefer you didn't report it. Not hugely unusual and reporting can end in quite a few leopards being shot.
    But from my report there, I just wanted them to make travelers aware of this animal and how atleast how to behave in that situation. Most of them are on social media and have seen the video posted on social media…

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  16. #10
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR03

    Had a similar experience with a large male leopard at Sundays 2 in 2011 I think.

    We were braaing and we had a serious ant revolt. We were hopping tent to fire and I had gout - first time and was not aware what it was - was at tent up on ammo boxes and my wife was at fire perched on stones with back to bush.

    I was looking out for her and a leopard came out the bush unsighted to about 3 m from her. Saw the animal and slowly got up with spade in hand and moved slowly sideways to distract him. Bev turned to face him - thank heavens calmly and moved slowly back when I had sort of flanked him.

    Luckily he was curious only and moved off. He was not ruffled at all.

    We decided not to alert the forum or authority but it was difficult.

    Friends at Sunday 3 about 3 months later also encountered him. Got a poor photo and it was clearly the same one. The animal reached up on the bonnet of the Paj to drink from a bowl of water they put there for the next morning.

    Will post another experience with leopard at Leopard campsite in 2019 as well.

    Agree with posters that wild animals are mostly curious only. Did not get the feeling that folk feed them like in Mabua. My thinking only.

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  18. #11
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    Wild animals can catch you off guard anywhere. My most memorable leopard encounter was at Bape campsite in the southern CKGR. We'd hardly seen any wildlife during the drive from Khutse, and had let our guard down a bit. Put a dinner table up about 10m from the vehicle and were eating dinner when a leopard suddenly appeared out of nowhere, right by the vehicle and lay down by the rear wheel. There was nothing we could do but sit tight and wait for it to move away of its own accord. If it had become curious and moved towards us it would have been interesting to say the least.



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  20. #12
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    have never felt threatened by leopard in camp.

    Had one in the night at PSG 2 come to drink water from my wash basin outside my tent. amazing experience.

    If one is sleeping at 5.00 in the morning you would not even know she had come to visit.!!My advice, after camping in CKGR for last 8 years;

    Stay calm

    retreat slowly and quietly respect their space.

    Realise they visit the camps as they know sometimes they can find water; they are not after you.

    CKGR is the most amazing area, wild and unfenced, a precious place to connect with nature
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  21. #13
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    Good day - at the unfenced camps we place a couple of IR motion detectors around camp especially in our blind spots. We have the alarm in a well padded box so it does not make too much noise. Especially good at night because you can wake up and have a look to see what is walking around.

  22. #14
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    We have had a few good sightings of Leopards over the years, but one in particular in the Kruger showed us just how dangerous and quick they can be.

    As we drove we saw movement in the bush and just then a Leopard jumped up a tree with an Impala. After hooking it nicely it proceeded to pluck it. It also disemboweled it and the innards fell from the tree. Just then a pack of Hyena arrived and started whooping and fighting over the innards.

    Little did we know because we had yet to spot it, but there was juvenile Leopard below the tree and obviously his Mum up the tree. The hyena were now between it and Mum.

    Not for long as Mum leapt out of the tree, landing on a Hyena and within seconds it was dead and Mum was tearing into the other ones. This was the most violent encounter we had ever seen. The speed and strength of this cat was scary and it was all over in seconds with the juvenile and Mum now running into the bush leaving the Hyena to the innards, the carcass hanging in the tree and one very dead hyena on the ground.

    Out of all the cats, Leopard are my favourite but I do not trust them at all and fear them the most.

    I am glad your encounter turned out well and that your bush craft decisions were the right ones. I have also had a panicked mate when a Lion appeared in one of our camps.
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  24. #15
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    Quote Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
    We have had a few good sightings of Leopards over the years, but one in particular in the Kruger showed us just how dangerous and quick they can be.

    As we drove we saw movement in the bush and just then a Leopard jumped up a tree with an Impala. After hooking it nicely it proceeded to pluck it. It also disemboweled it and the innards fell from the tree. Just then a pack of Hyena arrived and started whooping and fighting over the innards.

    Little did we know because we had yet to spot it, but there was juvenile Leopard below the tree and obviously his Mum up the tree. The hyena were now between it and Mum.

    Not for long as Mum leapt out of the tree, landing on a Hyena and within seconds it was dead and Mum was tearing into the other ones. This was the most violent encounter we had ever seen. The speed and strength of this cat was scary and it was all over in seconds with the juvenile and Mum now running into the bush leaving the Hyena to the innards, the carcass hanging in the tree and one very dead hyena on the ground.

    Out of all the cats, Leopard are my favourite but I do not trust them at all and fear them the most.

    I am glad your encounter turned out well and that your bush craft decisions were the right ones. I have also had a panicked mate when a Lion appeared in one of our camps.
    Such encounters are rarely seen but I guess happen occasionally. They are fearless when push comes to shove.

    Bushcraft skills should include “don’t leave water out”. If wash water is required for later use pour in a container and store away safely. Easy to say so now after reading troopers post.

    Still my favorite cat!

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  26. #16
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    BUT i wonder if this Leopard would behave the same if it gets OLD and incapable of hunt. Normally when they get OLD and Fragile they tend to become opportunistic and may end up using their stealthy move to attack people.
    This one is still in perfect condition and obviously food isnt a problem. BUT just thinking, what will happen in future when it gets old, looking at other lion attacks from very OLD males who couldn't hunt.

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  28. #17
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    Quote Originally Posted by TRON View Post
    Such encounters are rarely seen but I guess happen occasionally. They are fearless when push comes to shove.

    Bushcraft skills should include “don’t leave water out”. If wash water is required for later use pour in a container and store away safely. Easy to say so now after reading troopers post.

    Still my favorite cat!
    VERY true. Soo much happens while we are asleep. If you take time and survey around camp in the morning, you will be suprised how many animals visit camp. We saw lion tracks at the toilets and shower area, BUT heard nothing at night. Not even roaring.

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  30. #18
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    Fearless YES, but worse, they are merciless and has been said, if they get old, can't hunt ? We have had , how many ? Three/four reports of Leopard attacks in the past two years. The one in Matopi, the Kruger incidents and where was that young person doing that game survey and got attacked in the tent ?
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  32. #19
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    Quote Originally Posted by PAT n WOLF View Post
    BUT i wonder if this Leopard would behave the same if it gets OLD and incapable of hunt. Normally when they get OLD and Fragile they tend to become opportunistic and may end up using their stealthy move to attack people.
    This one is still in perfect condition and obviously food isnt a problem. BUT just thinking, what will happen in future when it gets old, looking at other lion attacks from very OLD males who couldn't hunt.
    One of the overland Youtubers has a video or photo (can't remember which) of an early morning encounter with a leopard at Piper 1. No aggression. I had one at Magotho in July, young leopard; I beat a hasty retreat, no issues. I was told that after the attack in Mabua, maybe Matopi, somewhat more than one leopard was shot. I saw on FB that Bots has issued 70 odd permits for leopards to be hunted.

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  34. #20
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    Default Re: LEOPARD scare at CKKOR02

    If it make himself visible then he dont have any intensions, but you will never now what can trigger him.
    Johan Kriel

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