About the Author

James Tyrrell


James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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on What Happened 5 Years Ago? #9

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Great memories. I remember the Matimbas. I saw a photo of the “hairy belly” Matimba on social media last week. Old but still doing fine. Lovely pic of the Piva male.

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Thank you James these pictures are moving. Leopards that are no more but are remembered; cubs that were killed and others that lived up to the accolades; an elephant mum and her son touching each other’s trunk; a special surprise with reptiles and funny monkey. I always asked to.myself how researchers recognize crocodiles. Maybe because of differences in size…

Only one Matimba male is still alive, the hairy bellied one, the other died of mange in August 2019. But now he is being pushed by three young males called the Tumbela males

James Tyrrell

Thanks Gabriele

Michael Fleetwood
Digital Tracker

You are correct James, the Hairy Belly Matimba Male is still alive in the western sector of the Reseve. The Ginger Male died last year.

James Tyrrell

Thanks Michael!

Gillian Evans

Great to see so many familiar faces – leopards and remembering the encounters we had with them… The Piva male racing towards our vehicles saliva pouring from his mouth.. the Tamboti female and the Nkoveni female having a big fight on a branch and eventually falling out as a ball of leopard locked together in battle. The Ximungwe female and of course the ginger Matimba male.. one of the Matimba brothers. Really interesting to look back on the characters!

Kara Taylor
Master Tracker

I loved the throw back! Excellent shots all around!

Darlene Knott
Master Tracker

So interesting to look back! And, yes, check your settings! How many times have I started shooting a great sighting and after 3 or 4 shots, realized that my settings showed an overexposure!!! Wasted shots! 😡 been there, done that, and will probably do it again! 😂

Cindy Hauert

My first visit to Londolozi was 2015. Highlights included leopards, rhinos, lions, of course, but also the antics of the then lone ostrich female, (an exotic sighting at that time), a cheetah hunt, and painted wolves aka wild dogs then. Kept me coming back, and keeps me hoping to get there soon again, as soon as possible.

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

James, I saved Dudley Riverbank Female, I also saved Timboti Female, I saved timboti Female Rising the tree, male titimba Male yawning, cubs🤗

Leslie Kaye

Great photography and tales about each animal …. I am also getting tatty ears just like the Dudley Riverbank female Leopard lol !

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

You certainly have a gem of a collection in the archives James ! The Piva male and the ginger Matimba male are exquisite 👌🏻💕. Strange that you should put up the chameleon ..I saw my first one here in quite awhile, yesterday. Just love them ! It reminds me of a memorable 2 weeks we spent in Madagascar 13 years ago.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

It’s always a treat when you pull out images from the archives. I especially liked your final image of what not to do – check settings before pushing the shutter! I fully admit I’m guilty when excitement overtakes checking my settings! Only a few can be rescued in PP…… thanx.

Iren Juppa
Digital Ranger

Yes, old Matimba “Hairy Belly” still alives in Inyati Game Lodge.
Thank you for the memories, James.

Carly M
Senior Digital Ranger

What stunning pics! Sad to hear that some of those beautiful animals have gone. 😢


Ginger Matimba passed away in August of 2019. His brother Hairy Belly Matimba is still kicking around, he is with the Othawa pride and is still looking good at 15 years old. He must be the oldest male in Sabi Sands.

James Tyrrell

Thanks for the update

Paul Canales
Master Tracker

Whoa!! What a great set of pics! Several were added to my gallery.

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

James, Thanks for the memories! We were at Londolozi in August that year and your post encouraged us to look back at the 1000’s of images we took on game drives on that visit. There were quite a few of Piva male and then of course the Majingilane coalition were in full force then!

Suzanne Gibson
Guest contributor

The only one of the cats I wasn’t able to see was the Piva male. Great to see the shots of them all – I’d love to know if DRB’s daughter Ndzanzeni has been seen at all?

Chris Prusiecki

Thank you so much for sharing all of this.
It’s a great reminder of the fantastic vacation, but also takess your mind off some of the horrible things were all going through today

Victoria Auchincloss
Master Tracker

what wonderful. sadly too many leopards gone but not forgotten! Victoria

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