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Azura Retreats Blog

The Tale of the Leopard’s Tail

From the Azura Selous Team - September 2018

Every ranger has a story to tell and the guides at Azura Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania are no different. The best stories are reserved for after dinner, when the glow of the campfire and the sounds of the bush create a conducive atmosphere for sharing tales of the day’s sightings. On such an evening our head guide, Joseph shared his most memorable encounter – with a well-camouflaged leopard.

It was on such an evening that our head guide, Joseph shared his most memorable encounter – with a well-camouflaged leopard. One morning, Joseph set out on a morning game with a family that included young children. Whenever possible, we allocate families their own Land Rover to ensure a personalised safari experience. We don’t believe in set schedules either, so when Joseph noticed that the children had quietened down, he knew it was time to stop for breakfast.

There’s nothing quite like a bush breakfast and our guides know how to pick the right spot for a picnic. An open area with a view of the river and large shady tree was what Joseph had selected for his charges on this beautiful morning. As is the procedure, he checked the surrounding bush for any signs of danger. Finding nothing to be concerned about, he returned to the vehicle to start setting up for breakfast.

It was then that he happened to catch a glimpse of a spotted tail dangling from the tree he thought would provide good shade for his guests. Now, being an experienced ranger, Joseph didn’t panic. Instead, he calmly made his way back to the Land Rover and asked his guests to get back in the vehicle. Only once everyone was safe did he point out the leopard. Needless to say, they were thrilled with the sighting – even more so when the leopard came down from the tree to pose for photographs.

This tale is a perfect example of what makes safaris in this part of the Selous Game Reserve so exceptional. With no fences or physical barriers, the animals can move freely and retain their natural behaviours. They are not as threatened by the presence of humans because they have the space and ability to flee – an option even the most dangerous animals prefer over attacking. As a result, the behaviour you’ll observe here is what the first explorers to this area would have witnessed over 200 years ago.

When you come on safari at Azura Selous Game Reserve you can look forward to Joseph telling you this story in person. He tells it very well and, like all our guides, he’ll go out of his way to ensure that you have a thrilling story of your own to tell before you return home.