South Africa specialist Linda, recently returned to Sabi Sands and reminisces over her incredible memories with Makwela, the extraordinary female leopard:
Returning after many years to the very special Sabi Sands, I wondered how I had let so much time elapse between visits to this magical private game reserve. Just being out in the bush again, in the early morning and on an open Land Rover, was enough to wake up my senses before I’d even started looking out for any game, big or small.
In this area of Safari Africa, to the south-west of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, the smells of the damp landscape intensify as the earth slowly begins to warm with the sunrise. The spirit of the place starts to take shape as the light increases, and I feel enmeshed in all intricate life around me. Our tracker, who is outside the vehicle examining the soft sand on the road, starts talking to our ranger about ‘ingwe’, and from the recesses of my memory the word comes to me… leopard!