Involved Leopards

Tortoise Pan 4:3 Male

Tortoise Pan 4:3 Male

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Keagan Chasenski

Guest contributor

Keagan has always had a connection with wildlife, having been lucky enough to visit Londolozi as a child. After growing up in Johannesburg, he attended boarding school in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands where weekends were spent exploring the reserve and appreciating his surroundings. ...

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on Tracking With Ray

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Hi Keagan what a wonderful blog and wonderful story. This is what makes us as guests always return to Londolozi. I cant wait for our 12th visit on 21st of May (Tree Camp as usual) and I do hope to see you and Ray and hopefully have a supper together no matter which ranger is assigned too us. Regards JR and Jane

Ray is one of best trackers and people I have ever met.

Keagan, Thanks for a special story about your relationship with Ray. It’s clear that there is mutual respect and a passion for the wild! Thanks also for sharing the great images.

It’s wonderful if one is with together with a splendid team of tracker and guide as a guest. Admirably how trackers always find these animals and how the guides maneuvers the heavy cars through bush, into drains and to the animals. Just amazing!

I always find following the tracking process really exciting, even though I’m not actively involved! When I came last November, I bought “Changing a leopard’s spots – the adventures of 2 wildlife trackers” from the shop. I will definitely read it before I come back later this year.
I’m thrilled to hear Tortoise Pan is still seen in Londoz sometimes – I’d love to see him again, having followed him from a tiny cub.

Keagen, what a wonderful story you shared today. Tracking and viewing are truly the essence of Londolozi.

Hi, I’m over the hills to see such a superb leopard coming from the Royal Family, the Ndzanzeni female has always been a real beauty and a special leopard. The Inyathini male also left so many memories and dna after him. I’m glad that the Royal Family is not lost, although not so flourishing as the Sunset Bend female line. It is rare to read of an encounter with a rhino, I can only imagine the feeling! I think he’s right, insects, birds and small animals are so very intriguing and there’s yet much to be discovered

What a terrific way to spend your free day, tracking with your good mate Ray, whilst honing your skills. Additionally, you were rewarded with amazing sightings of the rhinos and Tortoise Pan male. I had to laugh as the photo you included of Tortoise Pan is very similar to one I shot in 2018. He was lying next to a small pan, head resting on the dried mud, showing us that same bored gaze.
Anyway, I completely agree with your last paragraph as the bonds between each team of guides/trackers is than of mutual respect and trust in each other as well as the property.

What a great experience both of you had on that morning tracking animals. So good of Ray to show you where you lost the tracks, to carry on and find the animals. Both of you, best friends and partners. Well done both of you.

On safari with you and Ray in September 2022 will always stay in my mind and heart. Sighting a Leopard Tortoise and a Dung Beetle on a morning drive, was ‘nearly’ as exhilarating as the many Leopard found over the couple of days.

I have had some incredible sightings with Ray (I am sure he will remember the 2 days with the Ingrid Dam female and her new cub when there was an encounter with the Ingrid Dam young female (newly independent at the time). However, I was witness to one of the most ridiculous spots – certainly the best in all of my drives at Londolozi). We were driving at a decent pace heading south on the track to the east of the Manyeleti. We were done with our drive and heading to a bush dinner so we weren’t really looking for anything as we were moving quickly. Ray’s hand went up. Looking down the bank towards the riverbed and into a dusty setting sun, Ray said he thought there was a leopard on a termite mound an easy several hundred meters away. We turned off of the track and on the far side of the termite mound was the Nanga young female (now Makomsava) lying down. Ray had only seen the tip of her ears poking above the termite mound!! I have a photo of that sighting on my wall and always remember that drive and Ray fondly.

Terrific, touching story Keagan, and some really wonderful images!

Glad you two are still laughing and learning together! You both certainly made our time there special! Cheers from Lisa, Mat, Kathy and Pat

Bravo! Harmony between humans and animals. Well done.

Great to see this post about you and Ray! We miss you! And in case you want to see it, here is my newest TEDx talk:

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