It is the time of the year when most of the trees have lost their leaves and the wildlife struggles to find shade during the heat of the day.
I was guiding a private group at Seba Camp in the Okavango recently and on our very first morning drive came across a beautiful female leopard walking along a floodplain in the Delta, accompanied by her two cubs.
Unfortunately one of the cubs was extremely shy and disappeared into the tall grass as the mum continued her journey in a southerly direction. I waited for a while hoping that the cub would show up and join its family, but there was no sign of her.
I decided to follow the mother as her behaviour indicated that she was up to something. Accompanied by the male cub she eventually came across a channel which is used for Seba boat activities. She started to call and was staring across the channel. After a few minutes she got in and swam across the channel and then headed through the tall grass. As I picked up my binoculars to scan the area where she disappeared I saw her dragging a reedbuck through the tall grass to the nearest shade.
Most people do not believe that cats can swim, and do swim, as long as there is no threat to them. It was not easy to capture her photographically as the area is very sensitive and we were quite a distance away.
Postscript: Mother and both cubs were all seen together the following day.
Written and Photographed by Richard Avalino