Michael Eastwood

Camera: Sony a7iv

Lens: Sony 400mm 2.8 GM

Aperture: 2.8

Shutter speed: 1/640

ISO: 200

Description: A male Leopard on the hunt during golden hour determined to make the evening a success.

Story from behind the lens: We had actually been close to this Leopard for most of the morning however we were parked around 200m away spending time with a pride of Lion with cubs. From a distance we saw this male Leopard fail two hunts, one was a warthog that he almost got but it managed to get away injuring the left of his neck in the process from the warthogs tusks. Failing this he laid low for the next hour in the drainage ditch until a few wildebeest came within range we saw him pounce again, however again with no luck. This now got our attention and we left the cubs and came back down to the drainage line but he was nowhere to be seen. We persisted for another 30 minutes with no luck and decided to head back to camp. In the evening we came straight back, we knew the area he was in and decided to wait and scan the long grasses knowing he would be getting back up to hunt again very soon. To our luck we spotted him rising from his afternoon siesta and our determination paid off, it wasn't long until he was back on the hunt. Watching a male leopard of that size gracefully move through grass with such precision and determination is something absolutely magical to witness. We were lucky enough to spend around an hour with him following him all the way stalking some Thompsons but unfortunately ending in another failed attempt. Time was up for us and we needed to head back to camp. This was an experience I wont forget, and the beautiful sunset that the Mara put on made for an incredible image I will keep as one of my favourites. The Mara never disappoints.