by Matthew Sterne on February 1, 2016
3 min read

We recently published a story of a one-tusked elephant that speared a buffalo and flung it above its head. The story spread like wildfire and garnered attention around the world. That was the first in our Safari Snapshot series – when we ask our travellers if they have any stories worth sharing. The next one comes from Donald Kendall,  from Asheville, North Carolina.

“Thank you for sharing the elephant pictures…really unique. You asked for a story, here is mine. Two years ago, my wife, Robbie, and I visited Ngala (in the Timbavati Game Reserve of the Kruger National Park) where our guide was Jaben and our tracker was Sully. We had just started our afternoon game drive and almost missed the leopard as it was very well hidden. One of the guests in the vehicle saw it and started pointing. Then the tracker saw it and we parked within 50 feet of it off to our left.”

Leopard spots the warthog

Photo credit: Donald Kendall

“I don’t think anyone realized it was sitting on a warthog den as the area was quite flat. We all thought it was just sunning itself, and almost left. After about 10 minutes, suddenly the leopard jumped up and ran only a few feet before we saw the dust cloud and heard the warthog screaming. The warthog ran into our view with the leopard clinging on top of it! The tracker said the leopard must have been laying on the warthog den, waiting for the warthog to come out.”

Leopard attacking a warthog in the Kruger National Park

Photo credit: Donald Kendall

The leopard and the warthog

Photo credit: Donald Kendall

The leopard sinks his teeth in

Photo credit: Donald Kendall

The video Donald took of the kill is rather graphic. As Donald said, “If you look closely at the wound in the warthog’s side you can actually see it’s heart pumping!” On that tantalising note, here is the video of the sighting…

“The leopard took 15 minutes to kill the warthog. Other vehicles finally came so we left just before the warthog actually died. We drove around for a couple of minutes and saw the leopard in a clump of underbrush starting to eat it. We stayed maybe 5 minutes, then left.

“We all wondered why it took so long to die and deduced that the leopard was inexperienced as it never went for the throat which is the normal and much faster way a kill is made. But maybe it was just staying away from the warthogs sharp tusks.

“That trip to South Africa was our fourth trip to Africa itself, with prior trips to Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and Kenya. We will be returning to South Africa in October having booked the trip once again through Rhino Africa and our consultant, Justine Ryan. We are going back to Ngala and Kirkman’s Kamp.”

Robbie, Sully, Donald and Jaben

If you too would like to contribute to our Safari Snapshot series, we’d love to hear from you and feature your photos or video from your special African sighting. Please email Matt (matthew.sterne@rhinoafrica.com) with your submissions.