Love was in the air this week as the Camp Pan Male and Tamboti Female spent over five days together-hopefully creating a new set of cubs for a few months time. The Vomba Young Female was also prominent this week, spending a number of days feeding on a wildebeest calf that she managed to bring down. Enjoy!

Whenever climbing a termite mound, a leopard will always get into stalk mode when nearing the top, not knowing whats on the other side until they have a clear view.

Just like any other leopard, the Vomba Young Female doesn't enjoy her presence being given away-here she snarls at an annoying Rattling Cisticola chirping incessantly above her head, alerting any potential prey nearby of the threat.

Having spotted a herd of impala rams and wildebeest cows with calves, she is immediately alert and begins planning her approach

After being seen by some impala, she settled down, waiting for the commotion to pass. We left her to hunt in peace from there and on returning the next morning to follow up, Byron and Judas found her with a wildebeest calf that she had killed. She spent the next few days feeding on the carcass. This is another attempt at an "arty" (with arty generally being the term used to describe a photo that you completely messed up but are trying to salvage something from!) image of her walking across a clearing in the full moon to have a drink. It didn't quite come out as I had hoped, so will have to wait for another full moon to try again!

She then proceeded to drink for almost fifteen minutes at this small wallow!

She tried a number of different poses, constantly looking over her shoulder for any potential danger.

The Tamboti Female was seen this week as well, but quite far out of her territory...

The reason for this soon became clear as on the following day she was seen mating with the Camp Pan Male. A males territory is up to five times the size of a females-as such she will often have to leave her own territory in order to mate. Here she presents to Camp Pan, flicking her tail in his face. Males often come across as reluctant and disinterested participants in the mating ritual

Tamboti Female takes a break from mating, resting on the cool sand of the Mxabene drainage.

As you can see above, mating is quite an aggressive affair. This is in part due the male's barbed penis-this in fact helps stimulate ovulation during the first few days of mating.

She was almost always alert in between bouts of mating, and he immediately passed out after the deed was done!

The frequency of mating varies depending on how far into the cycle they are, but can be as much as once every five minutes or so at the peak of the roughly five days that they spend together

About the Author

David Dampier

Financial Manager

David left the bright lights of Johannesburg and a promising career as a chartered accountant to join the Londolozi Ranging team in 2009. After three years spent as a guide, during which he built up a formidable reputation as one of Londolozi's top ...

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19 Comments

on The Leopards of Londolozi # 18

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Fred & Robin
Guest

David. Your photos and documentary tell the story exactly as we saw it. This one event on the last day of our safari will stand out as one of highlights of our trip. Thank you so much for helping provide this everlasting memory. We hope one day to see the cubs that this courtship produces!

David Dampier

Thanks so much! Would love to have you back to see the new arrivals!

Syl
Guest

Great photos & info…thank you

Alper
Guest

Beautiful pictures, thanks.

Sheena
Guest

David, where is the Tamboti female’s territory? – fingers crossed for some little Camp Pans!

David Dampier

Hi Sheena, her territory is on our eastern side, roughly in the middle from a north/south point of view and includes some area on both our land as well as our neighbours. It will be interesting to see if she mates with Dudley 5:5 Male as well, as his territory also overlaps hers…

Sheena
Guest

Well smart cats cover all possibilities!! Are the big cats are like the smaller domestic ones and able to carry cubs from different males? Or is this debatable ?

David Dampier
Guest

They definitely can, although it is possibly a more common occurrence with lions rather than leopards.

Helen Chaknova
Guest

Beautiful pictures David!

Jen Westphal
Guest

Wow – so fabulous! We saw the Tamboti female roaring on our last day so we thought she was calling a mate! How exciting to see her success! I found her sunning on a fallen log just before – so exciting! Great photos – thank you!

Rich Laburn

Sure Jen, we’ll have a video of her mating coming out on the blog in the next few days. rich

Rich Laburn

David, keep the arty photos coming. I think they are great! rich

Duncan
Guest

Less than a week since we departed and already missing the Londolozi magic. Thanks for keeping us in touch virtually.

James H
Guest

Love her eyes in the Mxabene, David! Also her golden coat, just like her mother (Sunset Bend) and sister (Vomba). Well done.

Norman
Guest

Great pics…thanks.
Leopards are definitely my favourite feline predator. I also think they are the most beautiful of the feline predators. Here is an excerpt from my Christmas newsletter.

“A special moment, was with the wind blowing hard at Norman and the tracker they came up on something which ran through the bush parallel to them and then crossed the road in front of them at full pace less than 15 meters away…….. a full grown male leopard!!. What a great sight!!. The tracker was a bit nervous when Norman reassured him that the only humanoids that they take are baboons.”

Love the articles and look forward to the read every day!

Dean
Guest

Great Photos David, my particular favourite this week must be the “Tamboti female takes a break from mating” one. Brilliant. And she gets to take a break from mating.

Keep my weekly photographic fix going!! good work

Chris
Guest

Another wonderful set of photos and accompanying story that make me want to throw on my invisibility cloak and sneak into Londolozi! Thank you for your passion.

Jim and Joan Catlett
Guest

We had a wonderful experience watching this action last week. We’d like to again thank Lucian our guide and James our tracker for allowing us the opportunity to get up close to these two beautiful cats.

Penny Parker
Guest

The reflection of the Vomba Female drinking is stunning. And I had guessed in your last posts that the interaction between Camp Pan and Tamboti was to come, as they had been spottedin the same places !

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