What Lurks on the Islands Around Xigera…

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Due to the arrival of the annual inundation, we have not been doing many game drives around Xigera, but as the waters recede and more areas and roads become accessible, we have taken to the game drive vehicles with vigour.

After a long wait of three months with no drives, my guests and I decided to check the condition of the roads and headed out on an exploratory morning drive. To our surprise, we called in a leopard sighting within the first hour. This particular female feline has not been seen in over four months, so we were all very excited. We called it in, and all the guests in camp jumped onto vehicles and headed out to the sighting.

The leopard was so relaxed, allowing all three vehicles great views. We followed her for around three hours while she embarked on a hunting mission. It was amazing to see how she used her camouflage to her advantage and how she could slip by… undetected by the ever wary prey species. Suddenly, she fixed her gaze onto a herd of impala – every move echoing with purpose as she switched into full stealth mode and began the stalking process. A dazzle of zebra was mixed amongst the impala herd, so there were lots of eyes and ears which could pick up her presence and sound the alarm. We watched from a distance with bated breath…

The feline expertly managed to get within metres of the herd, and almost within striking distance. Suddenly, a wondering zebra eye picked up her movement and burst out into alarm mode. Instinctively the impala scattered in all directions, not knowing where the threat was. Luckily for the impala, none of them headed into the direction of certain death.

The leopard did not waste any more energy and slumped down into some shade…plotting her next strategy…


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By Dennis Smith

Now at Kwetsani Camp, Dennis has also guided at Xigera Camp in the heart of the Okavango Delta. He is a passionate guide with an affinity for wildlife photography and making the most of the guest’s experience.

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