The Tamboti female has special place in my life. This female leopard is often found in the south of the reserve, in an area that we call the ‘Tamboti donga territory.’ The area is thick with plenty of available food sources (an ideal leopard hangout). Impala congregate under the shade of trees and there are many drainage areas for cover.
Tamboti was named after the Tamboti tree that she often frequents. See this picture below that gives a good idea of what her territory looks like and below that of the young female in a Tamboti tree.
Tamboti stands out with a dark golden coat but is small in size compared to some of the other leopards that we find. It is believed that the late Sunset Bend Female once used to operate in exactly the same territory. A mother to two cubs, Tamboti sadly lost a cub to another predator. Her other cub, the Tamboti Young Female, is over a year old and we believe that she may be ready to become independent.
During tracking, I look out for any signs of the female and I am usually successful at finding her because we are familiar with her territory. The ranging team were fortunate to get video footage of mother and daughter along with the Camp Pan male interacting with one another earlier this year.
The highlight for me was watching the Tu-Tones Male and the Camp Pan male both mate with the Tamboti Female at the same time in March. Read another blog that shows video footage of the mating three!
At the moment I believe that the Tamboti Female is trying to extend her territory further south to an area we call the Tugwaan Drive. I believe that the reason for this could possibly be because she wants to give a part of her territory to her cub.
Scroll down to see more images of this beautiful female.
I love tracking and especially tracking leopards… I could never it get tired of a job like this. I learnt to track from my father. It is part of my soul.
More about Tamboti:
Spot pattern: 4:3 Female
Date of Birth: October 2007
Mother: Sunset Bend 2:2 Female
Father: Tugwaan 5:4 Male
Distinctive Features: Identifiable by 2 notches in her left ear.
Photographed and Written by: Bennet Mthonsi.
Additional Photo Credits: Simon Smit, Mike Sutherland, Trevor Ryan McCall-Peat and Lucien Beaumont.