This site requires Javascript enabled to operate correctly. Please enable Javascript in your browser, or click here

Silent strike - the raw power of a leopard


Posted on 27th March, 2024

Stu Porter

Hippo Kruger Stu Porter Photography
The Hippo covered in Terrapins at the "Watergat" waterhole in Kruger Park

A Thrilling Encounter at Kruger's Watergat Waterhole

In South Africa's Kruger National Park, the wonders of nature are endless. During a photo safari in the park's southern region, we were treated to an incredible sight at the "Watergat" waterhole that left us in awe.

It was mid-morning and a typical day in the African bush. The sun beamed down and animals of all kinds gathered around the waterhole for a drink. Our main interest at first was on a big hippo that was covered in freshwater terrapins. However, amidst the serenity, danger lurked in the shadows.

As we watched, captivated by the scene, a movement caught our attention. In the tall grass, a sleek female leopard blended perfectly with her surroundings. What amazed us most was her undeniable skill – she was a true hunting expert.

With patience and precision, the leopard waited as a group of impalas approached the water's edge. Among them was a young, unsuspecting male. In an instant, the leopard sprang into action, her powerful legs propelling her towards her prey.

Despite the impala's desperate attempts to flee, the leopard's claws found their target. What followed was a remarkable display of strength and agility as the leopard subdued her prey.

Amidst the chaos, the leopard seized her opportunity, delivering a final blow to her catch. And with her prize secured, she vanished into the forest, leaving behind an unforgettable scene of wonder and excitement.

The female leopard had found the perfect place to hide, close to the waters edge
It was nearing midday and Impala were making their way to drink
The Leopard was so patient waiting for the perfect moment
An adult female walked past within a meter of the hidden danger
Finally she charged in on a less experienced young male Impala
The leopard cleverly boxed the impala in with the water on the right
Knowing it could not escape, the impala tried to jump into the water to escape
But the leopard caught it in mid-air and pulled it back down
A struggle ensued
The damage from the leopards claws was unreal
The leopard moved in to deliver the killer bite to the neck
For a few seconds predator and prey stood together
Then the leopard wrestled the impala to the ground using her overpowering strength
She dragged the impala along the edge of the water
And then dissapeared into the thick bush to devour her meal away from watchful eyes