“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

Another blog about the Mashaba female..surprised?! Yet again this leopard and her daughter have provided me and my guests with an absolutely incredible morning and have left me in absolute awe. For the second time in six months I have witnessed the Mashaba young female hitching a ride on her mother’s back and I felt compels to share it with you all.

It all started out early in the morning when we spotted the one-year old cub lying in a thicket. The Mashaba young female had been left the previous afternoon by her mother who was off hunting. We had planned to find the young female in the hopes that her mother would be back to fetch her and take her back to a kill. Fingers were crossed..

After about ten minutes the Mashaba young female started showing signs that she was about to move and was gazing off into a nearby thicket. Then we heard the characteristic bark of a bushbuck. The Mashaba female was close and her daughter knew it. We moved away from the young female and closer to the thicket from which the startled bushbuck’s alarm had emanated.
Then a soft contact call came from behind our vehicle and the Mashaba female emerged.

The scene that followed was incredibly special and I feel privileged to have had such an amazing morning with these two yet again.

The first series of pictures is the initial greeting:

Series settings, ISO 1250, F5.0, 1/800.








The second series of images shows the Mashaba young female hitching yet another ride on her mother’s back:








It all ended with the Mashaba female finding a small termite mound to rest against and her cub settling nearby. We left the pair to rest the morning away.

The Mashaba young female is approaching 14 months of age now and may not be with her mother for too much longer, but for the time being they continue to entertain and amaze guests, rangers and trackers alike.

I’ve absolutely loved every minute I’ve got to spend with them.

Filed under Leopards Wildlife

About the Author

Nick Kleer

Field Guide

Nick joined the Londolozi team from Thornybush Game Reserve, and immediately began revealing his photographic potential, especially in the passion with which he pursued knowledge. An almost fanatical approach to improving his photography has seen him gain a rapid understanding of all the ...

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on A Surfing Leopard: Part 2

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Susan Krüger

Aaaawesome 🙂 thanx for the blog ang gorgeous images…. just what i needed today 🙂

Mary Moy

Such amazing photos, I have really succumbed to the magic of the Mashaba Female and her cub.

Yves Christen

Dear Nick. Could you confirm that 5/5- Airstrip male has been killed by Tsalala young males? Best. Yves

Amy Attenborough

Hi Yves. Yes this is sadly correct. He was killed about a week ago and we think it was in fact by the Tsalala Pride. We will be putting up a post shortly to explain the details and to pay tribute to him. Thanks, Amy


Beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing. What an amazing Leopard, she’s almost the size of her mother, and yet she still tries to “surf”. Priceless

Brenda Quatember

Wow! How amazing and great photography, thank you. Over a period of many years I have observed leopards at Ingwelala and have never seen anything so special!

Wendy Hawkins

Oh how special these images are! Even I am going to miss their antics when mom & daughter part. Thanks Nick

Judy Guffey

“Great Leaping Leopards”…said Annie

Al Kaiser

Thanks Nick. Reminds me of the wonderful viewings we have had with the pair!

John Wilson

Awsome shots right place right time, OMG

Jill Larone

Great pictures Nick! It will be sad to see them part, but Mashaba has taken good care of her cub and it’s so fantastic to see that she’s survived to independence (shortly).


Thank you Amy for this info (despite the fact that I would prefer an other new..). I spent so many time with this cat… Kind regards. Yves

Mary Beth Wheeler

Awesome shots, Nick! Magical times! Thnx for sharing.

Kit Boey

how incredibly beautiful the cub has grown up to be. I still remain in awe when I first saw the two cubs being brought to a kill for the first time almost a year ago by the stunning Mashaba female and how heartbroken I was to learn of the male cub’s demise. He was always so brave and independent while the female cub was the more timid of the two. I can’t attach pics here, otherwise i could share a photo (amatuerish!) of them walking to the kill.

MJ Bradley

What a wonderful sighting! My favorite animal of the African bush is the Leopard! I love all the critters for they all have such wonderfully diverse characters, but leopards speak to my heart. Thank you for sharing these fabulous beauties.

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