It all began when Stewart came to see Mbalabala Safaris in Las Vegas . Being a emergency medical doctor, Stewart could not come to Africa for the full length of a leopard hunt so I cut a deal that could not be passed.
April saw the arrival of Stewart for his fourth leopard hunt the previous three to no avail. Not even a male feed. Baits had been out five to six days already so a little ground work had been done. Twelve baits out in the Marula district took the entire morning to check. This went on for four more days until one morning the first bait we checked had a male leopard feed. We checked a few more and returned to build a blind. We built as much as we could and returned to camp for lunch.
On our return we sorted lights rifle stand and got ready for a LONG wait. 15.31 the vehicle drove away.
Sitting and relaxing thinking was he gonna return and so forth, I heard a rustle of leaves in my listening device which was laying on my leg ,I looked to see if I could see this francolin or Bush pig. I saw nothing under but the noise continued. Peering at the bait to my surprise there was a sight I will never forget in my life.. he was eating.. I tapped Stewart and said the leopard was in the tree. 13 minutes after the vehicle had driven away. I saw the golden " tool box" that's him. I said to take him on the shoulder. The .300 win mag broke the silence between all the hills and the magnificent cat fell straight out dead before he hit the floors.I was in awe. Couldn't believe what had just happened.Called the guys back, when they drove up I don't know who was happier us or them. They thought we had had a A.D or something in the blind because a shot had rang so quick.
Back to the hill by camp and some magnificent pictures were taken with a few g+t's.. that evening was spent talking about how our luck had finally come together after many years.
The following days were spent on the adjacent ranch looking for a tsessebe. These are far and few between in Zimbabwe now. But with our luck the way it was going we were successful two days later..
A great safari excellent food good accommodations with a magnificent view over Labonka dam makes it a trip never to forget.