The Mashaba, Nkoveni and Ximungwe Females’ Current Family Dynamics | Londolozi Blog

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Ximungwe 5:3 Female

Ximungwe 5:3 Female

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Mashaba 3:3 Female

Mashaba 3:3 Female

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Nkoveni 2:2 Female

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

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Plaque Rock 3:3 Female

Plaque Rock 3:3 Female

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Ximungwe 2:1 Young Male

Ximungwe 2:1 Young Male

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About the Author

Kirst Joscelyne

Ranger

At less than a year old, Kirst went to her family’s hut in the Greater Kruger National Park, and has been fortunate enough to continue to go there ever since. Sharing a passion for the bush with her family, led to countless trips ...

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29 Comments

on The Mashaba, Nkoveni and Ximungwe Females’ Current Family Dynamics

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Linda From California
Senior Digital Ranger

I really do enjoying viewing leopards and those pictures you have are splendid. Kirst, my favorite is the Ximungwe Female’s picture. You captured it in the golden hour. Just stunning.

Thank you Linda! I must say the golden light during the winter months is just exceptional.

Valmai Vorster
Digital Tracker

Kirst I love the Mashaba female and her two cubs which are now having their own cubs. I am amazed that Mashaba had so many cubs but that only two made it to adulthood. Just goes to show how hard it is for them to grow up. If I have it correct the female cubs leave their mother earlier to go and establish their territory, than what the male cub leaves his mother, why is that. This little cub of the Nkoveni female is so precious.

Hi Valmai,
It is quite a sad reality for the Mashaba Female. You are indeed correct that the female leopard cubs tend to leave their mother a bit earlier. I think it has to do with territory and quite simply survival. The female cubs tend to be ceded territory from their mothers and therefore they don’t have to ‘fight’ for territory. This means that they can be independent earlier and is ‘safer’ for them to do so. Male cubs will have to flee their mothers territory and embark on a nomadic phase until they are about 7 or 8 years old when they then can establish territory for themselves. The investment in raising a cub is high and they will stay in their mothers territory as long as possible until a stage when their mother comes back into oestrus and is ready to mate.

Valmai Vorster
Digital Tracker

Kirst the Ximungwe female’s male cub, what is his name going to be and who gets to choose his name. It seems to me the Senegal bush male is his father.

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Good fortune to have seen all 3 adults during a lengthy visit in July. The Senegal Bush Male was also very available.

Vin he is indeed and sometimes found with either the Ximungwe Female and Mashaba Female when they have made a kill. The tolerance of the Ximungwe females cub suggests he may be the father.

Suzanne Gibson
Guest contributor

Thanks so much for this blog, Kirst. It’s of great interest to me, as early last year I posted a blog “my history with the Vomba female” which also went down to Plaque Rock and the young Ximungwe male (and I also followed Tutlwa’s lineage). I love being able to follow their history, all the way down to great grandcubs!

Suzanne hopefully we can add to your blog and historical story of this lineage even more.

Francesca Doria
Digital Tracker

I couldn’t believe my luck today! Female leopards tale with cubs and perfect pictures! A friend of mine asked me why don’t females stay together to raise their cubs more successfully. Actually I was eager to see two sisters trying to do this but it seems it doesn’t work…

Francesca due to their solitary nature they don’t associate with other leopards other than a potential male to mate with or their mother until they reach independence. The Nkoveni Female and Ximungwe Female are born three years a part and therefore have no connection to each other other than their mother so they view each other as ‘rival females’. A great example of their solitary nature was the story of the Finfoot female and Nkuwa female in December titled “Two Leopard Sisters Battle Over Territory” where soon after two sisters from the same litter after being a part for months after they became independent did not recognise each other as sisters anymore but rather two females competing for territory.

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

It’s such a pleasure to watch these females and their cubs. And of course, it’s even better to return to Londolozi and to find that one or the other of the cubs I had seen on a previous visit has made it to adulthood.

It really must be Christa and to see them at different points in their lives.

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Thanks for the update on these three female leopards. It is gratifying to know that Nkoveni still has her two cubs and that Ximungwe could be on her way to raising another cub to independence. Your photo of Nkoveni’s cub is priceless!

We can only hope these two female leopards do raise their cubs successfully as they did with their previous litters. Thank you – they can be sometimes tricky to photograph with their wet fuzzy fur but sometimes you manage to get it

Cally Staniland
Digital Tracker

A really fascinating read Kirst. Certainly very special to be able to follow through on the lineage of these leopards and more importantly to have them still on Londolozi. Super thanks 🙏💕

Thanks Cally, it really is special to be able to follow these leopards through their lifetimes

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Rich, Thanks for sharing the story of our favorite Leopard family! We were lucky to see Vomba and Mashaba (When she was still “Vomba Young Female”!). Mashaba’s unique patch on her nose has always been easy for us to identify (Terri says it is in the shape of the African continent in some of her images). She is by far our most photographed leopard. You may remember Terri’s image of Mashaba and her daughter in our 2019 “Safari Dreams” post with their tails touching like a heart!

We love the way you have created the lineage lines of the Londolozi Leopard families – it’s so unique and a great resource too! Thanks as always and we look forward to hopefully seeing you all soon!

Michael and Terri we hope to see you again soon! Was indeed a very special image and her patch of her nose really is unique !

Michael Fleetwood
Digital Tracker

Thank you so much for this Kirst! Am curious if you’ve seen any signs of the Mashaba Female herself having another litter or do you all think she will not bear another litter?

Hi Michael, we haven’t seen the Mashaba Female for quite sometime which made us start to think of the possibility of herself being pregnant again and having given birth. We don’t have any confirmation yet but will keep you updated!

Leonie De Young
Digital Tracker

A really nice spotted cat blog Kirst – thoroughly enjoyed reading the dynamics of these magnificent creatures. The bush is a harsh life and the young seem to suffer an early death. I think it is the same with lions and cheetah. The pics are fantastic. Thanks for sharing with us.

Thank you Leonie, we will see how their stories unfold.

Well, two surviving cubs out of 22 is not 25 but only 9 per cent… It’s all really sad and makes me think of the vague future of the leopard species… Still thanks for the story.

Kirill, you are correct her statistics are in fact much lower than the average amount of cubs that survive and is indeed a harsh statistic

Jutta Mielke Nestle
Guest contributor

Thanks for that wonderful story about the connections of those lepards. I saw Mashaba with 3 cubs a few years ago, and was sad, that they were all killed. Nkoveni and Ximungwe are very careful mothers and hidíng the cubs very good, so hopefully, the new cubs stay alive.

Thanks so much Jutta! We can only wait and see… Will keep you updated as their stories unfold.

Lisa Antell
Digital Tracker

The leopards of Londolozi and the Sabi Sand always continue to delight! We saw Mashaba in August 2019 looking quite pregnant and I was hoping that I would find out about new cubs soon after….now I cannot wait to see Plaque Rock and Finfoot and Nkuwa raise cubs too! (Nkuwa recently being seen mating with Hosana!)

Lisa I couldn’t agree more! Will wait and see what unfolds.

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