Game Report: Leopard at Mara Plains

January 16, 2012  By: Gretchen

This quick game report comes from our friends at Mara Plains in Kenya (where we visited for a site inspection in November – it’s looking beautiful!).

Anyone who has visited Mara Plains will remember the iconic lone acacia tree on the plain in front of the mess with the escarpment as its backdrop. Last night, while returning home after a game drive, a beautiful leopardess was found slung comfortably over the lower branches of this tree next to a Thompson’s gazelle that she had killed earlier in the day.

To find a leopard here is a first. That she felt safe to slink so far into the open plains undetected is testament to how incredibly long the Mara grass is now. It is thought that this female has moved north from Kaboso, and she may be the one who was scrapping with Pretty Girl, our resident, last year. It is exciting to have her around and we hope to find her up the same tree visible from the camp this evening. While on the subject of our spotted cats- as some of you know Pretty Girl gave birth on Christmas Eve, and in the last couple of days her two tiny cubs have been seen for the first time. We welcome two little leopards to the Olare Orok Conservancy family and we wish them all the best.

Last night two Mara Plains guests (on their first game drive!) watched Pretty Girl stalk a baby Impala for over an hour in the setting sun light, moving an inch at a time through the towering grass, only a few feet from the car, creeping ever closer to her unsuspecting prey and then freezing like a statue. Her admirable and professional patience paid off, as she was upon the little Impala before it knew she was there, and Pretty Girl killed it within a few seconds. A good feed for a mother nursing two little cubs. And the best bit about seeing this successful leopard hunt? There was not another car in sight as far as the eye could see.