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Matt Rochford


Growing up in the small coastal town of Mtunzini afforded Matt a childhood of endless adventures and the freedom to explore the rich diversity of animal and plant life in the area. He thus developed his passion for wildlife at a young age. ...

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on Introducing the Thumbela 4:3 Female Leopard

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Beautiful Matt! I hope to see her in 2024. Congratulations to her upon acquiring her permanent stature amongst the leopards of Londolozi and best of luck to her!

What a lovely post Matt. Fingers crossed that we will see this magnificent lady when we next visit Londolozi in Jan 2024 🤞🐆

Thumbela! What a beautiful name for such a beautiful leopard! We wish her great success in establishing a territory and being able to navigate the big world out there! She has had an amazing teacher and we wish her mother all the best too… can’t wait to follow their adventures!
Happy New Year 🍾🥂

Matt, thank you for the update. I hope she can establish a territory for herself at Londolozi so we can follow her life.

Matt congratulations on your beautiful young leopard – I’ve been waiting so excitedly to see what she would be named! I hope you were a part of her naming process/ceremony given how she special she is to you. I am ever so grateful for the gift you gave me of a copy of that gorgeous photo of her on the marula tree – it’s captivating and captures her so beautifully.
I will be back at Londonlozi in early June 2024, so I hope to see you, and hope I will be lucky enough to see her again. She has become my favourite leopard, given the time we spent watching her alone and with her mother – thanks to you, Terence and Jerry.
This is wonderful!! Thank you for sharing Thumbela 4:3 with the world.

Such a lovely new lady with exquisite eyes! She has a very nice expression in addition. I remember her grandfather, the handsome Anderson male, bearing fantastic eyes. Maybe she’s a bit like him, a mixture of different lineages. Hopefully she will have new surprises to come in the new year

Thanks Matt, she’s really beautiful. I still haven’t seen her or her mother, so shall keep my fingers crossed for a sighting next November.
Happy New Year to you and Terrence!

Wonderful Matt! Looking forward to her adventures! She’s a beauty . . .

What a playful name for this young leopard! We had a fun sighting of her chasing and catching a mongoose on the Manyeleti riverbed, toying with it until hyenas showed up. The mongoose took off in one direction while Thumbela raced off in another and up a tree!

She sure is a beauty! Her eyes seem so green! Yay another leopard to follow 🙂

Such a beautiful young leopard with pink nose and white line above it. She has the perfect name and it looks and she is going to bring many hours of joy to the guests and everyone looking out for her. The Xinzele female her mother, is also still n young leopardess and will have many more cubs.

Another beautiful young female! I am looking forward to meeting her next year.
The number of leopards at Londolozi is just amazing.

Great name choice Matt! Interesting that you mention the Flat Rock Male as her father; she and her mother have also been seen in the company of the Tortoise Pan Male and her mother was seen mating with TP prior to her birth. But given leopardess’ propensity to be promiscuous, I suppose difficult to know for sure.
Am also curious, was this name chosen for a place on Londolozi (or simply a reference to her playful nature) and was it coordinated with the lodges north of Londolozi like you did for the Makhomsava Female?

Sorry for all the questions and inquiries!
Happy New Year,

How exciting Matt, that Xinzele’s cub has a name, and a beautiful one at that! Viewing her this past April seemed as though as I was seeing double as she looked like her mother, albeit more petite. The name suits her as my first sighting of the duo, included Thumbela hiding from her mother and then jumping at her as she was moving through the thick vegetation. Now we need a name for the formidable, yet rather elusive, Three Rivers male.

Master Tracker

And this skill, knowledge and insight separates Londolozi from so many lodges

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