Great Sightings in the last Week

Posted on May 12, 2009

Another week of great sightings and photography for the guests and guides at Leopard Hills.

A couple of days after watching the spectacular sighting of the two leopards, we found our favourite leopard Makwela lying on a massive granite boulder.

For any wildlife photographer an image of a leopard lying on a rock is an always a special image to have in your arsenal. I was fortunate enough to have another top photographer with me, Jeff Derx, who accompanied by his wife Carol has done many safaris in Africa and with him “firing” on all cylinders it was a great morning for us both. We had the sighting for more than half an hour and managed to try different angles and settings until we were able to get the perfect shot.


For my favorite image of the morning I used a Canon fixed 400F2.8 lens and the 2 x converter. At a setting of 125/sec and F5.6 I got enough light, perfect out of focus back ground and sharp detail on the leopard.


Two afternoons later we came across a massive elephant bull in late afternoon golden light. Capturing unique images of elephants is always difficult. I decided to gamble and by shooting at minus 2/3 of a stop got an image of the tusk with a rich golden color and the elephant almost completely dark in the back ground.
Golden Light Elephant Tusk

We had some great sightings a couple of days later with guests Richard, Lori, Tom, Pam, Buzz and Janice from the USA, of two massive male leopards having a territorial stand off. This time I decided to leave the camera in my bag and just observe this special sighting. Seeing the younger and more confident Tekwaan male leopard slowly but surely pushing the older Wallingford male out of his territory was a wildlife spectacular very high on the list of anyone that was fortunate enough to watch it.

I will be going to Mozambique for two weeks on Monday but cant wait to get back to my favourite place in Africa, my home Leopard Hills.

For more of my images and articles have a look at my blog

All the best.


0 thoughts on “Great Sightings in the last Week

  1. You lucky person Marius to have such great experiences. Thanks also for the photography tips, its really helpful to a budding photographer. Am saddened to hear that Wallies has finally be pushed out of his territory by Tekwaan – watched them last August in close proximity and Wallies had a nasty gash on his neck. Tekwaan is certainly a very beautiful leopard and no doubt will be dominant for a long time. Look forward to your return and more great pics and stories. Take care

  2. Thanks Liz, the Wallingford male is still here but his territory is just getting smaller as the Tekwaan is taking more control. Looking forward in seeing you at LH soon again!!!

  3. Hi Marius
    Great photos, of course my favourites are the Makwela shots. Viewing the Tekwaan / Wallingford stand off must have been an awesome experience (what a job!).
    By the way, great layout in February’s African Geographic. As always, missing Leopard Hills. Hope everyone is well.

  4. As always Marius, great shots, and as the second picture clearly shows, she might be getting a "little long in the tooth", but she is still a beautiful Leopard.

  5. Marius, your applied skills and superb results always have me in awe, but this time you have surpassed yourself, all animals have an inherent beauty and intricate detail, but it takes talent like yours to showcasae it for the enjoyment and appreciation of others. A very BIG Thank You,

  6. Aah, Marius … cracker jack!
    Makwela is such a wonderfully majestic queen and continues to make capturing her beauty on film so easy for all of us plebs … but you really do her (and all wildlife in the conservancy) proud!!
    Hope everyone at Leopard Hills is well and happy – wish we could be with you 12 months of every year …

  7. I have a 1.4x converter, but have been advised not to use the 2x due to its effect on image quality.
    What ISO setting did you use? The 1/125@f5.6 suggests that either you had good light or you had bumped the ISO.
    What body are you using?
    On my last trip to Leopard Hills, I used my 70-200 f4 on a EOS 20D body. I cannot hand-hold anything longer than that, even sitting in a Land Rover.

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