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Ranger Reflections – Dean Wilkinson

Ranger Reflections – Dean Wilkinson

Camp Jabulani recently hosted an English family for a few days. The guests were understandably very excited as it was their first visit to Africa, and I was their dedicated guide for their stay. We witnessed something incredible over a course of two days, which I want to share.

Elephants having a drink

Mid-morning at the waterhole

We were very fortunate to see almost all the animals during our game-drives and on the guests’ last night with us, we spotted a female leopard with her impala-kill in a tree. The leopard was wary of us and it wasn’t long before she leapt out of the tree and ran out of sight.

The following morning, I took two of the young ladies for a morning game drive in search of our leopard. As we approached the tree we had last seen the leopard in, we noticed a few hyenas running hysterically around the base of the tree. Then we spotted our leopard, high up in the tree eating her salvaged kill!

Suddenly, a full pride of lions rushed in and chased the hyenas. The commotion startled our leopard, forcing her to abandon her meal as she scampered higher into the tree.

Two of the lions then clambered into the tree and claimed the carcass. In a desperate attempt, a third lion leapt up and grabbed at the impala remains trying to steal it away.

The sun was just appearing over the horizon and provided a beautiful setting for the drama that unfolded before our eyes: a disgruntled leopard perched at the top of the tree and three lions fighting for the impala carcass, while the rest of the pride kept the persistent hyenas at bay. A truly extraordinary sight. Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me for these events, but I still wanted to share the special experience.

To finish off, here are a selection of some of my images I have taken recently, that I would like to share with you.

– Ranger, Dean Wilkinson

Lions seldom climb trees. This strong female did so, without any problem


Sun on the horizon


This male got a little too close for comfort


We had to wait for the little cub to come out


Cute lion cub


Caught this male leopard snoozing


Male impalas in rutting season!


Hair-tailed butterflies extracting nutrient salts from urine patch



  • Kandi Fivaz
    Posted at 15:21h, 27 June Reply

    Gorgeous, Dean!

    • Camp Jabulani
      Posted at 05:09h, 28 June Reply

      Thanks, Kandi! You can be very proud of your brother!

  • Laki Papadakis
    Posted at 20:19h, 27 June Reply

    Nice one Dean!! Great story Bud!! Great pictures too!!

    • Camp Jabulani
      Posted at 05:09h, 28 June Reply

      Thanks, Laki!

  • Romy Haddow
    Posted at 06:23h, 28 June Reply

    Ah what an awesome story and great pictures, keep them coming Dean!

    • Camp Jabulani
      Posted at 08:14h, 28 June Reply

      Thanks for taking the time to read the blog, Romy, and thanks for the compliment! Have a great day!

  • Aplusmathematicstutorial
    Posted at 20:48h, 29 June Reply

    Thanks, Marlynn! I love them!

  • Sarah Cummings
    Posted at 22:28h, 13 July Reply

    Amazing story! The photos are incredible too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Camp Jabulani
      Posted at 12:41h, 14 July Reply

      Hi Sarah, thank you very much for taking the time to comment. Really glad you like the post, Dean is really talented! enjoy your weekend.
      From the Camp Jabulani team.

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