A Morning with Bokete

The Setswana word ‘Bokete’ can be directly translated as ‘Heavy’ or ‘Difficult’ in English. This male leopard is known as Bokete, and it describes him perfectly.

Bokete Ruighoek-2
Scars of a leopard who has had his fair share of battles

He is one of Pilanesberg National Park’s most impressive mature male leopards. With a broad neck, prominent dewlap, as well as a confident presence, sightings of him have left guests and myself in awe. He also seems to collect new facial scars almost on a monthly basis, giving the impression that he is not one to back down from a fight.

One early summer morning as first light began to show, just five minutes out from the lodge, we noticed a figure crossing the road ahead of us. We got closer, and there he was next to the road looking up at a rocky outcrop. We knew at that moment that we were in for a beautiful sighting. He effortlessly climbed onto the large rocks, found a comfy spot and lay there for about 45 minutes, allowing us to sit back and fully appreciate the beauty and serenity of the moment.

Bokete Rock-7

Bokete Rock-5
Bokete looks up to the hill where Chacma Baboons bark their alarm calls from
Bokete Rock-2
Settling down
Bokete Rock-4
This is what we refer to as a ‘flat cat’

Bokete Rock-8

As the sun rose, the bushveld came alive around us in the form of a morning chorus from the birds and barks from the Chacma baboons who had spotted Bokete from the surrounding hills. It was simply a morning that guests and I will never forget. A morning spent with the impressive Bokete!

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