“Find a sausage tree,” says Guy Combes, “and the chances are good you’ll find a leopard as well. They are ideal for leopards, with their large broad branches to sprawl out on or to place a kill for safekeeping away from lions, hyenas and jackals. Leopards have evolved incredibly strong fore and hind leg muscles specifically for climbing trees. This trait allows them to avoid fighting with other animals of prey over a kill.
“Sausage trees don’t grow in stands, so a large solitary tree provides a leopard not only with solitude but also with an expansive view of what is happening in the territory around it. Leopards will hunt from the early evening to dawn so at midday, as it was when I came across this great cat on the Maasai Mara, leopards are most likely resting. This cat was so comfortable in its perch that a group of elephants rubbing themselves on the base of the tree barely disturbed it.”