Leopard Photo Safari


Recently while on a leopard photo safari we came across a leopard den, in the form of a fallen over tree stump in a forest, close to the bank of a river. It was a spectacularly wild piece of Africa, far away from humanity and tourists. Sitting, waiting at the den for what seemed like an eternity, we waited patiently (or as patiently as can be expected) for the mother to return. A tiny leopard cub knows to stay completely hidden until its mother returns from hunting. In fact, staring at the fallen over tree stump in the middle of nowhere, I was wondering if this was all some kind of a joke on photographers? But, one of the camp guides swore he had seen a tiny leopard when he had radioed us, and so we waited... and we waited... and we waited.

Just as the light of day was fading, the mother appeared seemingly out of nowhere, from deep within the forest. Before we knew it, she had leapt on top of the log and her cub had run out to greet her, excitedly. The cub was simply overjoyed to see its mum and so were we - to see the cub! After allowing the cub to suckle, is was bath time, and the mother began licking her young one from head to tail. We watched on as these intimate moments between a wild leopard mother and cub unfolded and right in front of us. Even though it has been a decade of leopard photography for me, I was so excited that a large percentage of my shots were blurry due to my shaking hands and the low light levels (even though I had my D5 in action). So, these handful of shots represent a sighting so special that I will never forget it.

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