The time has come for a young female leopard to no longer be associated with her mother but to be recognised as a territorial adult on Londolozi and receive a name, a reference to her new territory. The female in question is from the very well known Sunset Bend lineage that has been followed for generations by staff and guests alike. The Tutlwa 3:2 young female is now known as the Nhlanguleni 3:2 female.
The Nhlanguleni 3:2 female was born in May 2011, to the now more regularly seen and relaxed Tutlwa 4:3 female. The Tutlwa 4:3 female has spent her life in and around the breathtaking Sand River. The thick vegetation and sandy (hence the name) substrate around this great river sometimes means that the following of this female is tricky. Her preference for denning and raising cubs in the river gives her cubs a safer place to spend their very vulnerable first few months, this unfortunately makes the difficult process of finding a leopards den and cubs near impossible. These two factors have both contributed to the nature of her now mature cub.
When seen, the very elusive Nhlanguleni 3:2 female is cautious of the presence of vehicles, this is due to her limited exposure as a cub to vehicles in the tangle of vegetation that she so enjoyed as a young leaopard. This female still spends most of her time around the river and her mother’s territory. In the last fews months though she has been seen pushing further south. She has been seen scent marking in what used to be the Vomba 3:2 female‘s (her grandmother) terrritory. This new area brings less vegetation and the chance to see her more often. In the heart of this new area lies a road that is named after the most prolific bush found there, the Guarri bush.
The Guarri bush is believed to bring good luck and is sometimes carried by the local shangaan people for this very reason. The safari team felt that this was something to consider when choosing a name for the maturing female but used the Shangaan name for the Guarri bush; “Nhlanguleni” was decided upon. As this female continues to mature, the dominant Marthly male will more than likely start showing interest in her in the hope of continuing his lineage. We hope to see much more of this beautiful female in the near future as she settle into life as an adult leopard on Londolozi.
Written by: Simon Smit
Photographed by: Simon Smit and James Tyrrell