Floris Behnke: close-up of a leopard

Leopard sighting at Tuli!

When we were asked to choose an activity for our final weekend at Tuli, we opted for a "real" sleepout where we would sleep under the open sky without any walls around us. To prepare for this adventure, we gathered our roll mats, sleeping bags, and snacks. We ventured deep into the study area of Tuli until we reached a stunningly beautiful place called Pride Rock, reminiscent of the Lion King. We collected firewood and chatted excitedly about the night ahead. As we were about to climb to the top of Pride Rock to watch the African sunset for one last time, Stuart left to pick up Annaliene, who would kindly provide dinner.

Suddenly, Stuart returned in full speed reverse, frantically signalling for us to get into the landi. A James-Bond-style run to the car ensued, and we wondered what the fuss was about. "LEOPARD," was Stuart's reply! As we drove forward, we saw George the leopard, a regular at Kwa-Tuli, staring right back at us. He had probably been watching us the whole time! We sat and watched him as the sun began to set, eagerly waiting for his next move. As quick as lightning, he climbed over the side of the Kopje and disappeared.

We embarked on a speedy drive, clinging on for dear life, and soon, with some very skilful tracking by Sam and some help from Hannah, who dropped her camera in the process, we found him again, prowling sleekly through the bushes. He allowed us to follow him for an hour and ten minutes of amazing leopard study. He came close to the vehicle several times and displayed some very relaxed behaviour, even taking some time to sit down and watch us too! We decided to leave him to continue on his night's hunting and headed off to devour our eagerly awaited sleepout dinner. It was an unforgettable start to the final weekend of our wonderful Tuli experience.

Thank you for the time of my life!