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Leopard Climbing Down a Tree, Kruger

When people embark on a Kruger safari, what normally is in their minds is to see all the Big 5. Sometimes, you just don’t have the time and have to go through the sightings while you check all the boxes off without being able to spend some time with each animal.

We were lucky as we had two weeks at Kruger Park, and that gave us the little bit of luxury to be able to stop and spend as much time as we wanted. Anywhere.

We spotted this beautiful leopard in the morning and waited patiently for her to do something. We were hoping he would jump out of the tree and walk somewhere, perhaps to a nearby kill. After four long hours of restless napping, he did! He leaped down the tree gracefully and we were able to catch his in the act. Hal and I teamed up: I took the photos while he was in charge of shooting video. Luckily, I caught the moment the leopard was mid-air while leaping down. He walked off into the grass and disappeared. After a twenty minute wait we were surprised to discover he climbed back up the same tree and resumed his nap!

Leopard resting on a tree, Kruger
Leopard resting on a tree
Sometimes a long lens is helpful to photograph wildlife
Sometimes a long lens is helpful. Hal shot this leopard with a 500mm plus 1.4X teleconverter
Leopards are easy to see on a Kruger safari
Leopard climbing down the tree
Seconds before the leopard jumped off the tree
Leopard getting ready to jump off the tree
A leopard walking on the grass in Kruger
A master in disguise once he’s in the grass

It is so impressive how once the leopard got on the grass, he almost disappeared from our sight. He’s the master of disguise.

A Kruger safari is so worth it; it always deliver. Although sometimes you have to work a little bit for it!

Cristina Garcia

Zoologist and wildlife photographer. She has worked in the field with jackals, wolves, cheetahs, & leopards. She serves on the Board of Directors of SEE Turtles, a non-profit sea turtle conservation organization.

Read her posts at Travel For Wildlife and see more of her work at Truly Wild, & Our Wild Yard.