Leopards, leopards and more leopards

Posted on September 3, 2009

In the last week we have really been spoilt by very good leopard sightings.

Our first good sighting was of Mambhiri and her new youngster. This little one is now very relaxed with the vehicles around and also quite inquisitive!

That afternoon Mambhiri spoilt us by climbing on top of a termite mound just as the sun was setting behind her. With the breathtaking winter/spring sunsets we could not have asked for a better background.

A few days later we came across the Hlaba Nkunzi female and the Thekwane male. She was once again up to her old tricks, flirtatiously swiping her tail through his face and lying down in front of him. To our disappointment he was still not interested in mating with her and reprimanded her quite ferociously!

What must have been even worse for her self esteem was that she had to sit and watch as he mated with the Metsi female the very next day! Metsi is Mambhiri’s previous cub and is about 4 months younger than Hlaba Nkunzi.

Thekwane and Metsi walked down the road towards us and mated right next to our Land Rover! I could not fit all their limbs into the photo…

We found the 3 leopards again this morning and to our surprise saw how Thekwane mated with both of them! As soon as he finished with the one the other would approach closer, almost pushing the other female out of the way! This happened a few times and eventually ended up in a fight! Hlaba Nkunzi and Metsi flew into each other with claws and teeth, giving new meaning to the phrase “cat fight”. Thekwane rushed in and scolded both of them, breaking up the fight. Never in my life have I had a more exciting and unusual leopard sighting!

Another special sighting (this one not of leopards though) was of 2 big bull elephants cooling off.

14 thoughts on “Leopards, leopards and more leopards

  1. Thanks Hannes for sharing that all with us. That must have been awesome having them mating so close to your vehicle. The photo’s are excellent but I specially love the one of Mambhiri with the sun setting behind her.

    We cannot wait to return in April. It seems a long way off, but at least we have these brilliant blogs to keep us
    Thank you.

  2. Awesome, awesome, awesome!!! Talk about saving up a few days of great sightings and the OVERLOADING our senses. Great stuff

  3. What amazing pictures, Hannes. I can hear the hissing and howling at the cat fight!

    Hope to be back at LH soon.
    Cristina and Tim

  4. Hi Hannes
    What an incredible week you have had! The photos are truly fantastic, thanks for sharing.
    You are making me wish I was back at Leopard Hills again (and I’ve only been gone 2 weeks!!)

  5. How fabulous to be on the actual game drives when these pictures were taken. An amazing experience with a terrific ranger, Associate Camper, Hannes and tracker, Oscar. Thank you for a wonderful and memorable experience.
    Camp Run-a-Muck
    Anne, CD

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