leopard watching prey from a tree

Notes from the field – Leopards


On Saturday morning, I picked up a signal for Nkosi, when Leopard tracking with my guests. We found him walking and marking his territory, before quickly disappearing into the bush. It was a short but good sighting. I decided to continue tracking for Electra, and was lucky to pick up signal within a matter of minutes. It was a tricky drive, through ditches, thick bush and riverbeds – but suddenly we found her, lying in the riverbed with Nkosi and one her cubs.

Nkosi and Electra Leopards

I explained to my guests that Nkosi is the father of Electra’s cubs, and that it is not uncommon for the male Leopards at Okonjima to visit ‘the family’. However, it was unique to see them lying so close together and relaxed. Electra’s cub was playing non-stop with mother, but finally she had enough and walked to the river bank and settled down. The cub then turned its attention to Nkosi, who would have nothing of it and growled at the cub. Electra instantly walked up to Nkosi, growled back, and showed him who the boss REALLY is. Nkosi walked off.

“This is better than the National Geographic Channel”- I said to my guests!


The cub continued to stalk Nkosi‘s tail, while he was walking away, but he didn’t dare to growl this time. The cub finally grew tired, and turned its attention back to mother again and continued to play around the car.

I have been a guide in Okonjima Nature Reserve for 2 years, but this place continues to amaze me. In the truest sense of the expression – ‘Did the cat catch your tongue?’ – I found myself lost for words.

Pieter Van Der Berg, Guide


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