Leopards of the Timbavati

It is no secret that I love leopards, they are my absolute favorite animal and there are many reasons as to why. Yes, they share similar characteristics to the other big cats, but to me, there is just something about a leopard that really gets me.

I recently hosted a private safari to Umlani Bushcamp in the Timbavati and what a safari it was.

The Timbavati has a very special place in my heart, maybe it’s because I have been going there ever since I can remember or the fact that it has this magical wild feel to it.

Having mentioned the above, I have been to the Timbavati many MANY times, and the beauty of safari is that each safari know matter where it is, it’s always different. This safari was no exception.

On arrival, it was clear that the reserve had received plenty of rain recently, the bush was extremely dense and probably the thickets I have ever seen it. From a game viewing point of view, this means it can be good or bad. Good in that many animals seek vantage points in order to have a good look around, bad in the way that animals become more difficult to track or even see if they are moving through the dense vegetation.

Heading out on safari, Myself, Greg(brother and guide) and Emmie discussed our plan of action and what we were going to be focussing on. Having been stuck at home for a while, we decided to enjoy the bush for what it is and to take in whatever the bush was willing to show us and boy was this the right decision.

I can honestly say that in all my visits, I have never had game viewing like we had during our stay. Although overhead conditions were tough, it never really interfered with our game drives.

I know I titled this ‘’ Leopards of the Timbavati’’ so I want to share just a few of the incredible photographic opportunities we had with these beautiful elusive cats. Leopards, as we know by nature are generally very shy and elusive cats and unfortunately for me, many previous trips I have felt jinxed when it comes to leopards. This trip was completely different. In our time we saw 5 different individuals, sometimes seeing them twice even three times!

What I really loved about this trip was the amount of time we got to spend with each individual. What it created was a story for each animal. Instead of just going from one animal to the next, we focused on spending quality time in each sighting, this allowed us to be a part of their day, understand their behaviour and over the duration of our stay, put all the pieces of each individuals story together.

Having said all that, here are just a few highlights in images of the incredible time we spent with these impressive cats.

As you can see we have plentiful opportunities with these big cats and moments that I will remember for the rest of my life.

What a truly incredible safari!

Until next time,


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