About the Author

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 Update on the Mashaba Female Leopard

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She looks like a wise lady, and beautiful with her unique elderly features. I wish her well.


I just saw her a few weeks ago. Glad to read about her and see she’s aging well. The leopards of Londolozi are my favorite.

She is so majestic and calm. Thank you for the updates and the wonderful images. Hoping she has more successful years still ahead of her

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a beautiful lady! The tales she could tell!

What a majestic leopardess. She looks incredible. I wish her many more years of health. Thanks for sharing this update on her 💜🐆

Hi, every news on her is exciting! Such a large and strong lady, she encompasses all leopards virtues. The Nkoveni Female is alike, large and determined. The Ximungwe had two spectacular sons… definitely a winning team! So glad to see her in her splendour of her very deserved golden age!

My son and I were so fortunate to see her in 2016 within less than 30 minutes of landing at Londolozi. Fond memories of trips in 2018 and 2021. We’ll be back again one day but sadly she may not be with us at that time.

Thanks for the update, Matt – it’s great to see her looking so well. As far as more litters go, I think I’m right in saying Dudley Riverbank had Ndzanzeni when she was 16 (by the way, has anyone seen her recently?) But Mashaba has lost so many litters the chances of raising more cubs now must be minuscule. Ximungwe was her last one and she’s 9 now!

Thanks Matt! We were lucky to see her on our last visit and we appreciate the update! We’ve known her since she was a sub-adult and she is our most photographed Londolozi leopard by far!

Sitting here in New York and smiling from ear to ear seeing this wonderful soul through your photos!

Matt, I love your mix of almost poetic insights (“playful, half-hearted attempt to chase off a wandering Natal Spurfowl reminded us that the soul stays young forever, and it is only our ‘bodysuits’ that will eventually wear out with time”) with factual observations.

Thanks a lot for this lovely report on the Mashaba Female. I love all animals (apart from mosquitos and crocodiles) but to get news from my favorites, is always a special treat. And the Mashaba Female is one of those. It’s so great that one can follow the fate of favorite animals, leopards, lions, and lots more, at Londolozi. To know that she is still in such a good condition makes me really happy.

Matt, the Mashaba female was the first leopard I saw at Londolozi in 2015, and I see her everyday on my phone screen photo. I have loved spending time with her daughters and grandchildren over the last years, and she certainly has left quite a legacy.

We too saw Mashaba in 2015 and spent an entire evening drive observing her and an attendant male sharing an Impala carcass they had hauled up a Marula, with hyena below them waiting for scraps. She was magnificent then and even more so now. She has been my IPad screen saver ever since and I hope to refresh it with a new photo when we return next year!

Hi Matt, when we saw her in 2015 she was very pregnant with the Ximungwe female and another cub that didn’t make it. I spent time with Ximungwe and cubs in 2019, and just got back from a wonderful trip to Londolozi where we spent time with her other daughter, Nkoveni and two adorable cubs. Mashaba will remain the queen of my iPhone, but one of Nkoveni’s cubs may replace the elephant on my computer screen! Hope you see Mashaba next year and give her my best regards!

So pleased to know she’s doing well! I’ve lots of happy memories of time spent in her presence.

It is always welcome news to hear that she is still thriving.

Mashaba, wonderful old leopard, with an history of perfect motherhood. As she had 3 cubs, I was excited from her, but also very sad , that she loss them all. But Nkoveni und Ximungwe as her daughters made it also perfect as mothers. Hope , that she will manage another long time

Matt she is such a stunning leopardess and very wise in her old age. She is one of the leopards that did not mind being followed by the Land Rovers. Her age makes no difference to her beauty and her Supreme life.

We saw her in 2019, and I will be back in September, and hope very much to meet her again! She is a regal beautiful leopardess!

Matt, thanks for the update on the Mashaba female. It is always good to look to our elders and find peace and tranquility. She looks to be in good condition.

Grande Dame, Queen, whatever moniker she’s given, she will always be Mashaba, the leopard we all want to see or spend time with during a visit. Now that she’s no longer territorial, her stories have become fewer and so updates are very special. Thanks Matt for including photos from both the archive and present day.

Happy to hear about a good long life for such a beautiful creature!

The Mashaba female leopard looks so good, and as difficult is it might be, I hope she mates again and successfully raises another litter of cubs! Thanks for this update Matt!!

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