Old Spots

July 2018

Old Spot

There is hardly a better way to start off a day in the bush than to see a leopard mother and her cubs, it was a crisp winter morning in Zululand with everybody in the vehicle curled up under their game drive blankets as we headed off to Ufudu dam (Zulu for terrapin) looking for signs of elephant. Coming around a bend just in view of the dam we spotted a female leopard and her 2 sub adult cubs walk away from the dam back into the thick ravine that feeds into the dam. It was a bit disappointing that we could not get to see her close up in the open but when we got to the spot where they disappeared we noticed the one male cub was cautiously looking at us, wondering what this strange noisy animal was doing.


Curiosity killed the cat they say and one can easily understand where it comes from, this little guy was playful and very interested in us. Playing and discovering is a critical activity that helps them become skilled hunters in order to survive and breed.  Leopards have intricate patterns on their bodies and it’s a privilege to see how effective it is in breaking the animal’s bodylines in the undergrowth. Leopards are the African masters of camouflage and we were very fortunate to have watched this spectacular creature for about an hour as the early morning rays filtered through the bush and onto him.


Love my job

Christiaan Schmidt