John Varty (JV) is an acclaimed wildlife filmmaker, conservationist, musician, author and one of the founders of Londolozi Game Reserve. He has dedicated his life to the conservation of Big Cats, most notably the leopard. During the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s JV’s wildlife films drew attention and awareness to the beauty, behaviour and lives of these phenomenal cats of which Londolozi is proudly home to. JV’s most recent film, Leopard Queen, is currently being screened on Nat Geo Wild and features two decades worth of footage of the famed Londolozi leopard ‘3:4‘. In this the first of a series of interviews with John Varty, he talks openly about his relationship with 3:4 and a life spent with the Leopards of Londolozi.

Produced by: Rich Laburn
All footage used with permission of John Varty – Londolozi Productions

Filed under Leopards Wildlife

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 John Varty – A Life With Leopards # 1

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Judy Guffey

This video is phenomenal….great story of the ‘beginning’ of unbelievable leopard spotting at Londolozi.


Great video… I saw Leopard Queen on Nat Geo Wild some months ago; great documentary. You could sense that he had shared a life-long relationship with that leopard.

On another note… recently saw all three of his tiger documentaries (“The Tiger Man of Africa”) on Nat Geo Wild… truly awesome stuff. Anyone else seen them? Thoughts?


Jeremy g’day, I have watched The Tigerman series many times now and just love it. John Varty is a great human being that has a huge desire to see ALL the big cats survive in the wild. I have also read articles that criticise his methods and motives, however in the end he is doing something about what he feels is necesssary. Long live John Varty and hope his young sons maintain what he has started. Regards

Geri Potter

I am very jealous!! Can I be reincarnated as John in my next life? 🙂
All kidding aside, lovely series and many thanks for acclamating her to the vehicles…without it, the rest of us would not be able to enjoy such wonderful experiences with her lineage @ Londolozi!


I watched the whole documentary the other day. It’ s beautiful..many tears shed watching. I also read the tribute to her.


Leopard Queen is a very wonderful & touching story. I give thanks to Mr. JV for documenting Manana’s life for 17 year. Her life was such a beauty until I couln’t help myself not to cry at the final, knowing that she died naturally.

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