A midday game drive to check on the levels of the Sand River turned into a pleasant surprise for our General Manager, Chris Kane-Berman when he stumbled upon the Vomba Female Leopard and her cute new cub. The Vomba female has spent most of her life in a territory which holds the Londolozi Camps at the heart of it and as such she has become extremely comfortable with people and vehicles. This relaxed behaviour has quickly been learnt by her new cub who is becoming comfortable with the presence of game viewers and people. Never one to miss an opportunity, Chris took out his camera and captured these stunning shots of the two leopards gently interacting with one another.
The Vomba female was a leopard with an instantly recognisable rich golden coat. She spent much of her life around the Londolozi Camps.
A little shy at first, the young cub peers out from behind a blade of grass. Already the cub has begun to develop muscular strength in its hind legs and neck and steadily continues takes on the graceful shape of a mature leopard.
Naturally the cub is always more at ease with its mother. The Vomba female, however, seems to have a pulse rate of single figures as evidence by her dozing eyes and panting mouth.
Bath time! The cub begins to get cleaned by its mother. A leopard’s tongue, as with any feline, has tiny hooks all over it so as to perform a number of tasks from lapping up water to pulling dirt off a small cub’s coat.
The cleaning continues as the cub receives a firm lick on the left side of its head.
All ready to pose! This cub has begun to relax around vehicles, however its inate sense of curiosity cannot be concealed. Its rich brown chocolate eyes reveal a sense of wonderment and interest which has long since replaced fear.
Up and at it, the young cub cannot stay still for long and constantly moves around taking an interest in everything from its mothers tail to the grass, insects, ground and trees.
The instinct of a cat is undeniable. Crouched low to the ground, staring with crystal focus and tensed muscles the cub proceeds to stalk Vomba’s flicking tail.
Photographed by: Chris Kane Berman