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 Habituating a Leopard Cub

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Lovely sighting of the leopards in the river. It is so exciting to see a leopard for the first time.

James, I loved all the photos🤗

Amazing. My first leopard cub sighting was outstanding. Very Very similar to this experience except in the end they found a small water hole and both drank out of it as we gazed on in utter disbelief.

The Piccadilly Female is very special to us. She and her sister Sibyue were the first leopard cubs we ever saw in 2014. We were fortunate to spend 2 hours with them and their Mom Kikilezi. Then in 2018 we saw her with her male cub. We spent an evening, he was very relaxed. Unfortunately he disappeared shortly thereafter. I do hope she can raise this one to independence safely. She is a love.

Wow, what a ‘first sighting’ of a leopard for those guests! Amazing indeed! Leopards are my favorites!

Great story James! The habituation process and the ultimate success by your team is a testament to the patience the the ranger team and conservation protocols in place at Londolozi!

I’m sure animals know it’s humans in the landrover – like tigers in India they are well acquainted and habituated with all sorts of vehicles and people. It’s almost moving as wild animals such as big cats are persecuted for their beautiful fur or bones.

Wonderful seeing the two leopards cross the sands in that huge expanse of greens and gold!

Great sighting of the Piccadilly female and her cub. I tend to agree with you that non-habituated leopards can be more interesting to view, although that being said, I would certainly appreciate a leopard to come up to the Land Rover and just sit with us!

Thanks for clarifying the habituation process–I had actually never thought about how it happened.

Great pictures of mother and cub.

I would give my eye teeth to see a leopard and her cub !!! How wonderfully special for your guests 🙏💕


Seeing leopards and cubs in the wild never ever ever becomes ordinary or mundane. Truly one of the most wonderful experiences you can have.

What a wonderful sighting! Any ideas why the Piccadilly female is shifting her territory – surely that’s a risky venture with a cub?

Hi James. We go along with your thinking. Acclimatizing a young Leopard must be MUCH more rewarding! This would apply to any youngster actually. We wish the Mom and Youngster everything of the best at Londolozi! Thanks for the pics, James. Keep them coming! Wendy M

Fabulous! thank you Victoria

The habituation process is something I find absolutely incredible to see documented (I unfortunately have not been in the bush in person to have any firsthand knowledge of it, though I would love to be a ranger doing just that one day), and to see the transformation of a leopard or any animal from a naturally-nervous animal into a relaxed being is so incredible and rewarding I’m sure for the rangers and their guests who put in so much effort and patience into doing so. Hopefully the cub (who I’m assuming has yet to be sexed?) will relax in time as the Nhlanguleni Female did over time (if I’m not mistaken she and her brother were never relaxed as cubs but she eventually became used to them).

Very cool post James! As fascinating as it was informative (which is completely par for the course for you all at Londolozi!), and what a treat to see the pair in the riverbed for you and the lucky guests!

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