Sabi Sabi yesterday, today, tomorrow

a bundle of spots

by Richard de Gouveia on May 5, 2013

Little Bush female is probably my favourite of all of our leopards based on the fact that she is just so difficult to see and has such a fierce nature. She is the epitome of a leopard in that she is shy, elusive and a deadly killer. It is very rare that we will have any lengthy sighting of this female as she ditches our vehicles and disappears into the brush like a ghost into the night. There are however times when she allows a brief glimpse into her life and this was one of those rare occasions.

leopards mating while on safari at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

She was found with her kill in a small tree in a river, and all tracks pointed to her having her cub with her. Now when you are dealing with such a shy cat the best way to earn her trust is to give her space and sit quietly and wait. As we arrived she slinked out of the river and into the thick bush and we moved into position to wait for her to come back out. Quietly we waited for 30 minutes until she eventually started to call for her cub to come out of the bush and make her way to the kill.

leopards mating while on safari at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

As if we were not even there she trustingly carried on with her normal routine and hopped into the tree for a feed. She was promptly joined by a hyena who had also been hiding in the bush hoping to pick up some scraps or even steal the whole thing if she dropped it. We watched in awe as she moved around the tiny branches of the tree to get at the kill. She fed until she was full and the moment I had been waiting for happened…she started to call her cub and then jumped down from the tree to go and see her cub.

leopard while on safari at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

Suddenly out from the brush came this little bundle of fur that was no more than three months old. The little blue-eyed leopard looked up at us with intrigue and duly followed mom up the riverbed, disappearing out of sight. For the whole minute we got to spend with this bundle of spots left a mark on me and will be a day I remember forever. Those little blue eyes had stared deep into my soul before disappearing into the bush leaving me and all on the vehicle silently waving this little beauty off into the bush!

leopard cub while on safari at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

leopard cub while on safari at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

leopard cub while on safari at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

leopard cub while on safari at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

leopard cub while on safari at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

BY: RICHARD DE GOUVEIA (LITTLE BUSH CAMP RANGER)

 

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

sally May 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Oh my gosh what an absolutely gorgeous cub! I am in love! thanks so much for the great pics and write up Richard!

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ranger rich May 14, 2013 at 8:03 am

Anytime Sally! It was a treat to see this little blue eyed cub for the first time!

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karin May 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm

What a magical and unforgettable sight. Thank you.

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ranger rich May 14, 2013 at 8:20 am

It was exactly as you said it Karin, “magical and unforgettable”

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shirley May 6, 2013 at 6:14 am

Well written, and again the effect from the reading is as if I was right there!

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ranger rich May 14, 2013 at 8:21 am

So glad you enjoyed it Shirley

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rosie May 6, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Absolutely beautiful Richard, what a gorgeous little blue eyed beauty !

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ranger rich May 14, 2013 at 8:21 am

Thank you Rosie!

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wendy hawkins May 7, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Oh Richard, you are such a lucky guy – that little blue eyed cutie was quite happy to be photgraphed, but mom not. Thanks for sharing

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ranger rich May 14, 2013 at 8:21 am

It is a pleasure Wendy!

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beatriz May 16, 2013 at 5:22 am

Amazingly beautiful pictures of this precious cub. Looking forward for updates!

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