“All things are ready if our minds be so.” – William Shakespeare

Serendipity is a funny thing…at once exciting yet at the same time a mystery giving us new opportunities when we weren’t looking for them, it wafts in and out of every individual’s life at one or another time.  It is at the heart of Newtonian Theories, the Slinky, Microwave Ovens and Corn flakes.  It is the propensity for making fortunate discoveries while looking for something unrelated….and there has been a lot of it raining down on Londolozi as of late.

Tutlwa Female Leopard and Cub Looking through grass

Tutlwa Female and Cub Looking through grass

Some drives are spent chasing the dust.  Every animal disappears as you arrive, fresh tracks run you in circles and even the birds seem to ignore you.  This last week has felt much like that every time I have gone to look for the Tutlwa Female’s new cub.  But then there you have other drives which are are spent looking for nothing in particular only for it to offer up a fortunate discovery of something unrelated but significantly better.  This is when you know serendipity is on your side.

Former Londolozi head ranger Oliver Sinclair, his wife Michelle and tracker Solly Mhlongo experienced a moment such as this yesterday.  Bumbling through the area where the Tutlwa female’s new cub was thought to be denned, the trio were looking for birds and instead found the new cub with its mother.  The cub stood up on shaky legs and walked slowly into towards a large boulder.  A few moments later it emerged from underneath the boulder, providing the perfect opportunity to capture the first ever video footage of this new leopard cub on Londolozi.

In 1898 the Kellogs brothers accidently left cooked wheat unattended for a day, rolled the mass to obtain sheet and ended up with a flaky material which became cornflakes.  Percy Spencer noticed his peanut candy bar had melted in his pocket as a result of exposure to radar waves, thus allowing him to invent the microwave oven.  US Navy engineer, Richard T James accidentally knocked a torsion spring off his work table and upon observing its unique motion came up with the Slinky.  All it took was an apple to fall for Isaac Newton to begin musing about the nature of gravitation.  And sometimes not looking for a specific animal leads you right to it…

4 Week Old Leopard Cub

4 Week Old Leopard Cub

Perhaps this new leopard cub will have a fortuitous life or perhaps it will be a catalyst for breakthrough thoughts amongst those who are fortunate enough to spend time with her.  I know that the luck of the bushveld is never just luck, it is a system of interlaced complexity that affords each and every day to offer new moments of serendipity.  All we have to do is spot them.

Special thanks to Oliver, Michelle and Solly for providing us with this initial footage and to Lucien Beaumont for the photographs.

Mother and Cub Tails

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About the Author

Rich Laburn

Head of Digital

Rich is the driving force behind Londolozi’s online storytelling and the Londolozi blog. His passions of digital media, film and photography, combined with his field-guiding background, have seen him take the Londolozi blog to new heights since he began it in 2009. Rich ...

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on EXCLUSIVE – New Leopard Cub Caught on Camera

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Well done Rog!!! Not the first set of cubs Oli has found.
Beautiful to see new cubs. Lets hope she can get the cub through the next 4-5 weeks which is such a critical period for any young cub.


Thanks Greg, I agree the next few months are critical – we’ll keep you updated on the progress.

Penny Parker

Amazing write up. Senerdipity is a wonderful thing, and this little beauty is adorable.. wish I could visit this little cub!


Glad that you enjoyed it Penny, and hopefully took something out of the underlying theme. You should definitely come and visit this new cub!

Naomi Estment

Oh, how Gorgeous – thank you for sharing this!! Although we saw a number of spectacular adult leopards on our Londoz vist, we’ve never seen a cub. Definitely on our bucket list!


Agreed Naomi, put that on your bucket list of things to see. Its quite amazing to think that this vulnerable little cub will one day (hopefully) become a refined hunter in the wild. I think that I need to revisit cubs I filmed last year to show you exactly how they change and what they become within the matter of a year.

Sheila Patel

What a great write up and beautiful leopard cub! Please keep us posted!


Thanks as always for your thoughts and comments Sheila. Good to see that you enjoyed. We will definitely keep you posted on this one!

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