Tourist Films Incredible Close Encounter With Leopard
The video shows the incredible close moments I was able to capture of a male leopard that decided that the deck of our room in a safari camp was the best place to get comfortable during the day. During a recent long weekend, I decided to treat myself and my wife to some time away in a luxury safari camp in the Great Kruger National Park. We got a whole lot more than just treating ourselves to a relaxing weekend. It was mid-morning when we arrived back at the safari camp from our three-hour safari out in the bush. We decided to grab a late breakfast before heading back to our room for a midday rest during the heat of the day. We were about to finish our breakfast when an employee of the safari camp notified us that a male leopard was just spotted moving around close by our room. We have been searching for big cats the whole morning. We couldn’t find any. The news brought excitement but confusion and a little worry all at the same time. It’s great that there is a chance that we can see a leopard but not so great that it is roaming around the camp and near our room. After breakfast we were escorted slowly and carefully back to our room, everybody scanning their surroundings. I was filming the whole way to the room, just in case we catch a glimpse of the big cat. I was behind the camp employee when we entered our room and within a few meters of entering he suddenly stopped and said, “there he is”. And there he was indeed. A big male leopard casually lying on the deck of our room. Outside the closed glass door luckily. I decided to keep filming and realised that the leopard didn’t see us yet. The reflection in the window from outside most likely stopped the male leopard from seeing into the room. My heart was beating fast with such an incredible beast a mere few meters away from me with just a glass plate separating us. I started feeling like the caged-in animal on the inside when the leopard did suddenly notice some movement through the window. The leopard’s whole behaviour changed from totally chilled to alert and focussed. That made my heart race even faster as I could see this big cat knows we are in there and he looked curious. After sitting still for a short while longer the leopard decided it was better to move on. I followed and opened the door to see where he went. The leopard stopped at the plunge pool, turned around, gave me one last stare, and disappeared over the rocks onto the next room which was luckily empty. Never in my life could I imagine getting so close to a wild leopard in Africa, and that right at my room in a safari camp.