The barking of bushbuck is a fairly regular background noise at the Londolozi camps. Sometimes it’s just a couple of males barking at each other, but quite often it indicates a predator moving through, most likely a leopard. Sometimes we’re even lucky enough to spot the cat from the camp decks.
Recently some frantic barking only about 30 metres from the Londolozi office windows alerted us that something was wrong.
Jemma Brewitt from the Londolozi marketing team glanced out of the window and immediately spotted the telltale white tip of a leopard’s tail in the undergrowth.
It’s generally not a good idea to enter thick bushes on foot to get a closer view of a leopard you already know is there, but by hopping in a Land Rover and driving around to the other side we were able to get a bit closer without disturbing the cat.
We could now see the reason for the bushbuck’s earlier consternation; the leopard had killed a very young bushbuck lamb and was plucking its fur in preparation for eating it. The carcass was tiny, and we doubted whether the lamb had been more than a day or two old; it was probably an easy catch for the leopard.
Peering through the binoculars and taking note of the leopard’s spot pattern, we were able to identify him as the Misava male, a young individual who wandered through Londolozi last year but has not been seen since. Being far too small to claim a territory yet, he has most likely been pushed out of his natal area by his father or the dominant male there and is now leading a nomadic life, hoping to eventually reach an age and size at which he can challenge for a territory of his own.
Given that the area around the Londolozi camps is currently under the control of the Flat Rock male, who is unrelated to the Misava male, it is unlikely that this young interloper will stick around.
It’s still great to casually be able to spot a leopard from your office window though…
Beautiful glimpse of a male Leopard. I am sure “too close for comfort” is a good thing to keep in mind!!! I understand the circle of life …the animals have to eat to survive but the harshness of it does affect me emotionally. I am here in my office on Long Island, New York so I am removed except for your Blog which enjoy immensely. I keep in mind one of my favorite books, The award winning Cry of the Kalahari- Delia Owens and her husband Mark. The balance of nature is a false concept ….the “flux of nature” is closer to reality. “We have to accept responsibility for what we’re doing,” he said, “and not just say that nature will take care of it.” National Geographic article. As you can see, I am very interested in the overall topic…thank you for this wonderful Blog and I appreciate being able to respond every day….what a treat!!!!
Wow! Awfully close to the office!! We have often seen the little antelopes near our cabins, but never the loss of one. Victoria
What an amazing experience. You are so blessed to be right next to these gorgeous animals. I enjoy your articles so much and of course the Virtual tours which are also spectacular. Keep up the good work.. something to see when we are still “Being Safe”. Regards Tina
James, What a world you live in! You never know what you will wake up to! 😉
That is so very amazing and always a little nerve racking you may bump into anything at anytime just in camp!
James, I saved the Leopard in the bushbuck🤗
My office window was a port hole in the galley, from which my sea view changed constantly. Now that I have retired I’d just love to have yours !! Wow what luck to have seen the Misava male 🙏💕
Very cool James! And amazing that you keep such accurate records of the spot patterns, etc!
Lovely to see a young leopard hunting and doing well as they navigate the bush and their home ranges…
Hi, it’s sad to see a young baby dying without even experiencing a single week of life; at the same time a trusting leopard coming so close and considering your camp as a safe place is amazing. I will never stop being in awe in front of such incredible intelligent and wonderful animals.
Leopard outside your office-James. Sean’s room last time.
I have only seen hyenas walking through the camp.
Ahh, my dream, to discover a leopard on my deck, relaxing on a chaise lounge😎
WOW! Amazing! .. Despite how many times you have been up to close with cats in the bush, the unexpected must have made your heart pump, while at the same time be one of those moments to be taken in by the breath taking sight of the Leopard!
Your sighting brings memories of when I was a little girl growing up in the upper undeveloped area of Angeles Crest Hwy (in Los Angeles). – There were wild Peacocks that would come roaming down our street. – When I’d get up in the morning, the Queen of the flock would be perched atop this HUGE Birch tree that was in our backyard. The Queen with her long flowing tail of feathers was almost as long in length as the tree itself. She was SO Majestic! Some mornings, there would be a dense fog, that made the queen’s presence ethereal and mystical feeling. I could see portions of the massive peacock amidst the fog floating about around her. Added to it all, was hearing her pronounced echoing call! It was like something out of a movie that I’ll never forget! .. Collectively, I can’t imagine what it felt when seeing a Leopard outside your window!
This brings to mind James, as I recall, weren’t you greeted by a Scorpion while walking through the office a week or so ago? I would gather to say that your life at Londolozi is anything but Ho-Hum!
How lucky you are that you can spot leopards and other animals right in front of your windows. Poor little bushbuck, though. It really is eat and being eaten in the bush.
Would love to see that out my window!
The perfect reward of not interfering or altering natural habitats is that amazin memories are signed,sealed and delivered to your very door step. beautiful blog indeed .thumbs up team londolozi for awesome job in ensuring land Conservation lets animals feel at home in thy environs
How great is that! Spot a spot from your workspace!!
Slightly more interesting than the view from my office window!
It would be even more amazing if I would see it here in our garden !
Then I would be completely convinced that the climate is warming up:)
A young male leopard just outside of your office… a fortuitous sighting indeed!
Interesting indeed! But a little too close for comfort I should think. Wendy M
What an emotional roller coaster….heartbreaking and thrilling all on one moment
The tree outside my office is home to a pair of Wood hoopoe… so you win!