There’s just something extra special about leopards, isn’t there? They seem so mysterious, perhaps because they’re loners, coming and going quietly and unseen in the bush. Their camouflaging fur is unlike any other which, I think, adds to their stealth and mystery in the long grass. And if you’re lucky enough to look one right in the eye, strength and intelligence seem to drill right back at you.
It was our third visit to Londolozi and what a tremendous time we had – the wildlife, the staff, our rooms in two different camps, the food and the overall ambience is unlike any other place that we have experienced in our six safari trips to Africa. The leopards of Londolozi however always draw us back, and this time we saw an astounding number of different leopards during the first seven days of our stay. As our ranger Nick Kleer said, every time we went out on a drive, up popped another leopard! But he and tracker Mike Sithole were also expert at tracking the felines and we had great tracking drives during our stay, a hugely exciting way to find another leopard beauty. [Ed’ note: leopards are not always found due to their elusive nature – seeing a leopard on property is always a bonus and can never be guaranteed]
Here are photos of a few of the leopards of Londolozi that we were privileged to spend time with during our visit.
The Gowrie male was sleeping in a marula tree near the remains of an impala kill when we first located him. Several hyenas lazed beneath, awaiting scraps or maybe an accidental drop of the carcass.
Nanga and her little male cub are the current darlings of the reserve and mentally adopted by ranger Nick! Of course, who can blame him – with those big round blue eyes and playful behaviour with his mother, he engenders nothing but ‘oohs and aahs’!
Thanks so much to Amanda Ritchie in the Creative Hub for all her help with Lightroom! I learned so much.
The last five days of our stay at Londolozi were filled with lions – but that’s for another blog! Do you have a favourite Londolozi leopard?
Written and Photographed by: Mary Beth Wheeler, Londolozi Guest