Looking back at this Zambian safari, the first thing that stands out is phenomenal leopard viewing. During our twelve days here, we viewed fourteen individual leopards, two of which we sat with one evening, and were lucky enough to watch them mating about thirty metres from where we sat. Our first leopard sighting happened shortly after leaving camp on the afternoon we arrived. Impala alarm calls brought us to a ravine, and shortly afterwards the white underbelly of a baboon carcass contrasted with the brown surrounds; next to it, a leopardess lay and eyed the impala with typical feline disdain.

We watched the female leopard feed on the baboon carcass. Minutes later, her sub-adult male cub joined her, appearing from a nearby stand of grass. The scene was dramatically altered as the raucous aggressive calls of a male baboon broke the silence – within seconds he was charging up the ravine intent on cornering the leopard that had killed one of his troop members. The female leopard realised that she would quickly be outnumbered and overpowered, so she and her cub broke for cover, with the baboons in hot pursuit. The baboons maintained a few metres between themselves and the leopards, chasing them off until satisfied there was enough distance to return to the trees and termite mounds, where they barked warnings at intervals.

Dusk was upon us and we knew the tables would turn, and the leopards would once again return to stalk the baboons in their roosting spots high up in the winterthorn canopy. After dark, we returned to the kill. Yet another surprise was waiting – a second “cub” as well as a large dominant male leopard had joined the scene, making this a total of four leopards in one remarkable sighting! This set the trend for the rest of our safari, and for the next eleven days we tracked and experienced some of the best leopard interactions and viewing I’ve ever had.