We were blown away by the YouTube video taken by Martha van Rensburg of a leopard stalking and then taking down an impala. Martha also managed to capture the kill on her camera in a dramatic sequence of photographs.

Martha writes:

I was on a photographic predator safari with Marius van Tonder and two other photographers. On Saturday 29 September 2012, around 07:50, we were on our final game drive when we spotted a female leopard on the left hand side of the road. The game ranger stopped the vehicle not five metres from the leopard. On the opposite side was a herd of impala. The wind was making the impala very skittish and yet even with sentries on the lookout and one impala in particular looking directly at the leopard, they failed to see it.

LeopardKillImpala1-MathaVanRensburg-Dec 2012

LeopardKillImpala2-MathaVanRensburg-Dec 2012

Something spooked the impala, we’re assuming it was the wind, and the next thing they all started storming directly towards the leopard, who was of course ready for action! As the herd ran towards her, she leapt up at great speed and snatched a young impala mid-air.

LeopardKillImpala3-MathaVanRensburg-Dec 2012

LeopardKillImpala4-MathaVanRensburg-Dec 2012

LeopardKillImpala5-MathaVanRensburg-Dec 2012

LeopardKillImpala6-MathaVanRensburg-Dec 2012

LeopardKillImpala7-MathaVanRensburg-Dec 2012

LeopardKillImpala8-MathaVanRensburg-Dec 2012

The kill was quick and the leopard immediately dragged the impala off into a nearby donga. She then skulked off, presumably to fetch her nearby cub to benefit from the kill. What an awesome way to end an amazing safari.

Camera details

Canon EOS 5D Mark III; Lens: EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM; Focal length: 135,0mm; Exposure: 1/640 sec; f/9; ISO 800

It is extremely rare to get footage and photographs so close to a leopard (4-5 metres) lying in ambush of the Impala. Most hunts are photographed where the predator is chasing the prey down.

About the photographer

Having been born in a small rural community in South Africa I have always longed to return to Africa’s wide and wild open spaces. Currently I live in Durban. I am an enthusiastic photographer concentrating on wildlife.I do my own printing and framing including large canvas/photographic prints. I also do acrylic paintings of my favourite photos.