Makwela brings her cubs out to play

Posted on June 17, 2008

Leaving Camp early this morning, we had one mission and one mission only, to find Makwela and her cubs.

She has had them holed up in and around Leopard Hills for the last few weeks and her tracks told us she was on the move with the cubs in the direction of a Warthog kill she had from the previous day.

Having Allen and Ruth Wolf with me, who are regular visitors to Leopard Hills, we made the decision to go to the kill site, and wait to see if she would appear. On arriving in the dry river bed she was nowhere to be seen, so we decided to sit it out and wait. Our patients were rewarded when Makwela arrived at the carcass with not one, not two, but three little cubs. We estimate the cubs are about 8 weeks old!!

In all my years in the bush I have never had the privilege of witnessing cubs this small, and what an honour the “Mother Leopard” chose us to witness this first visit to a kill site for these tiny little cubs. I have had the incredible opportunity to view Makwela over the last 12 year that I have been in the Western Sector of the Sabi Sand Reserve, and to see her with what might well be her last litter of cubs left me feeling a little humble to say the least.

We shall keep you posted on their development; watch this space for updated news.

Thank you to Mary Kay for the pictures.

0 thoughts on “Makwela brings her cubs out to play

  1. Wow, what a privilaged site to see, don’t think I have ever seen you as excited as you were when you got back from drive this morning….you could hardly talk……now that’s something!

  2. Well done Duncan,

    This is another sighting that we all have been waiting for. You see patients always pays off.

  3. What a treat to see the photos of Makwela and her cubs on a rather cloudy Tuesday in London!! I am so tempted to get on a flight and come straight back over to see them!!

    Hope all goes well with you all. Looking forward to seeing more photos of the family!!

    Kindest regards

    Hazel and Brian

  4. What a fantastic sighting !!! Having lived in Southern Africa for almost 30 years and spent a good time in the bush between Cape Point and Rio Kunene, I never experienced anything like this – not even when I worked in the Kruger Park on Research. You guys were really priviledged!

    Keep up the interesting postings.

    With best regards from Bauru, S.P., Brazil,
    Gerhard +++

  5. Duncan,
    Great story and pix. Of course, I know Makwela well, and all three from her previous litter, who now have litters of their own. What a great old lady.
    I look forward to seeing her again on my next visit

  6. I think Makwela should be made Mother of the Decade or something.She seems to be determined to single-handedly repopulate the earth with leopards.

    You go girl!

  7. The cubs are as gorgeous as their mother! Amazing how such cute and cuddly little things grow into such powerful and graceful predators…

  8. Michelle & Craig from Dubai
    What a privilege to see my darling Makwela with her latest brood who are all adorable. What a icon this lady is from Leopard Hills and a beautiful and brilliant mother! Keep the stories and pics of this new generation coming Duncan and all Leopard Hills rangers. Miss you guys stacks.

  9. Morning Duncan. Thanks for the post and great to get an update form these little guys.
    Still cant belive she has 3 cubs.
    Keep us posted. Our Mbali leopardess which is 11 years old lost one of her cubs a 4 weeks ago.
    Look at our blog for an update
    Patrick Kings Camp

  10. Wow Dunx i am Amazed at the Beauty of nature and yr Persistence and Patience certainly paid off!Those Leopard Cubs are Adorable!
    Well Done

  11. Oh Lucky you Duncan – i hope My Mum and trev get to see the new cubs too!! Hopefully they can bring back lots more pictures for us to all see!!

  12. abolutely the most stunning pictures of these little ones. They are precious, I am envious of you and all the folks that get to be at the camp daily! I am really enjoying the blog pics

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