“Kgalagadi is a self-drive destination, and much of its allure lies in uncertainty and anticipation,” says Gerda. “No one knows what awaits at the next watering hole, or around the next bend in the road. Nature has her own pace, and Kgalagadi’s wildlife will reveal itself to the patient visitor when and where it chooses.”
On the last day of a 14-day visit in February 2015, Gerda and Willie were traveling down one of the park’s limited tourist roads, which follows along the ancient riverbed of the Nossob. Gerda was in a “state of resignation,” she admits – certain that she wouldn’t be seeing any leopard that year.
“Leopards are the holy grail of the Kgalagadi,” she says. “Although not uncommon, they are the least-frequently seen of the big cats of the park.”
However, they were running behind that morning. Gerda had misplaced her glasses, resulting in their departure from the camp being much later than usual. And this time, when they approached the Leeuwdril watering hole along the tourist road, she spotted movement in the shade of a large tree close to the water.