< Back to all

A week of more feasting leopards in pictures

Chad Cocking | A Week In Pictures

Another week, and another update about the animal families of the Timbavati!It was a week of warming weather, but we ended off with a light drizzle on a cool, windy day. Once again, the guests at Tanda Tula Safari Campwere spoilt with some excellent leopard viewing and these spotted cats were found on every drive.

Several of our spotted cats were seen feasting on kills over the course of the week. It started with Nyeleti female being found with a steenbuck safely hoisted up a marula tree just a day after she finished her fully-grown impala ewe. The only leopard that was fatter than her this week was the impressive Ntsongwaan male who was found wandering in the eastern parts of his territory. We caught up with him after he had finished a warthog kill and he looked as uncomfortably fat as any leopard I have seen in a long time! One morning we followed Nthombi as she led Hlangana back to an impala kill – the two feasted for a couple of days before a hyena ran in and stole the last scraps from them. Being a confident youngster, Hlangana wasn’t ready to give the kill up just yet and tried his best to sneak up on the hyena and steal some of it back, but it was to no avail and the hyena soon sent him packing!

Nthombi and Hlangana leopard

Hlangana leopard

Some encouraging news was when we found Marula’s son with the first sizeable – albeit unusual kill – hoisted safely up a tree. The kill was of a black-backed jackal and although it is not uncommon for leopards to kill smaller predators, this is not something that they typically feed on. However, ever the opportunist though, this young male wasn’t going to let this meal pass.

It wasn’t just on drives that the leopards were playing along. After dinner one evening the guests got to enjoy a large male leopard who ascended the apple leaf tree right opposite our main verandah. Then, the next night, Marula’s daughter was seen drinking at Camp Dam as the guests were having their pre-dinner drinks.

The lions were far less active than they have been for some time, even though they were still seen on most days. The Mayambula Pride sadly didn’t show any signs of returning to our area over the past week, although the two Mbiri males did make a trip up north to visit the Zebenine lioness for one day. The males then moved off west and the lioness reunited with her daughter before moving back into the eastern sections of the concession.

Mbiri males

Once more, the week started and ended with the River Pride in attendance; the former when the four lionesses spent a couple of days resting their full bellies, and then ending off with being woken by some of the River Pride males roaring outside of camp last night. Three of the young male lions and two lionesses were then tracked down on the morning drive to end off the week on a good note. The River Pride males are getting bigger with each passing month, and as they become more and more settled in these parts of the Mbiri males’ territory, the likelihood of a change in dominance of the area in the not too distant future is coming ever closer.

The large wild dog pack seems to have moved off for now; although we had their tracks on our southern boundary one morning, the animals themselves, remained elusive for the most part. A small pack of five individuals were seen throughout the week in the very far western parts of the concession – they consisted of four males and a female.

Despite the buffalo herds being absent, we enjoyed daily sightings of buffalo bulls near the camp, and the elephant herds could be seen enjoying the cooling benefits of the camp’s waterhole on most days. Even away from the camp, we were seeing some lovely large herds – with lots of babies – walking all over the concession.


Elephant calf

Elephant herd

The passing of another week of great game viewing means that we are one week closer to seeing our next cheetah sighting, and I can almost guarantee you that it will be in about two week’s time when I head on leave at the end of my work cycle! For now, I will keep my fingers crossed that I cross paths with one of these sleek hunters before that time comes.

Until next time!



Rhino calf


Vulture sunset

Zebenine lion




View rates & promotions >

Find Us

We’d love to have you join the family.

Sign up for exclusive access to early bird promotions and other exciting offers, news and updates.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Rates are quoted in South African Rand (ZAR) and include VAT. Rates are reviewed quarterly and are subject to change.


Bookings can be held as provisional for up to 14 days, after which the booking is required to release or confirm. A 20% refundable deposit is required to confirm the booking.


Once confirmed with a 20% deposit, the booking is held on a status of ‘confirmed with refundable deposit’ until any of the following becomes true:

  • The booking is cancelled in writing by the agent.
  • Another request is received with overlapping dates. At such a time, the 20% refundable deposit shall be required to be converted
  • into a 20% non-refundable commitment fee. At this stage, the booking status changes to ‘confirmed with commitment.’ • In such an event, Tanda Tula will contact the client and give them the option to either confirm with the non-refundable
  • commitment fee or reschedule their dates, or, failing that, to release the booking.
  • At 60 days prior to arrival, when the full payment is due, the booking status changes to ‘confirmed with full-payment.’

Final payment is due 60 days prior to arrival. Any outstanding balance on the total reservation value shall be required to be settled at 60 days prior to arrival.

All refundable deposits, commitment fees and full payments are held in a separate call account and do not become part of the operational cash flow until the guest has stayed.

The amount stated on the invoice is what must be received by Tanda Tula nett of bank charges.


Cancellations must be received and acknowledged by Tanda Tula in writing.

‘Confirmed with refundable deposit’: bookings carry no cancellation fees up to 61 days prior to arrival.

‘Confirmed with commitment’ or ‘Confirmed with full-payment’: in the event of any reservation being cancelled after Tanda Tula has issued a confirmation, for any reason other than a WHO-recognised pandemic that impacts the booking, the following cancellation fees will apply:

  • ‘Confirmed with commitment’: if cancelled more than 60 days prior to arrival, the cancellation fee shall be equal to the 20% non- refundable commitment fee.
  • ‘Confirmed with full-payment’: if cancelled between 60 days prior to arrival, the full reservation value is forfeited.

All cancelled bookings that qualify for a refund, will be refunded less a handling fee valued at 5% of the refund amount.


Tanda Tula will allow postponement of a booking for up to 12 months, if travel is cancelled with a commitment fee or 60 days or less prior to arrival due to a WHO-recognised pandemic directly impacting the guests’ ability to travel (e.g. lockdown, no flights, guest not allowed to board a flight, guest falls ill due to a pandemic and unable to travel).

In the event of a WHO-recognised pandemic directly impacting the ability of Tanda Tula to meet its obligations with respect to the booking, all monies received, including the commitment fee, will be fully refunded (e.g. lockdown in RSA, government restrictions on trade).

Any refund is given at the discretion of Tanda Tula management and will be charge a handling fee valued at 5% of the refund amount.

All travellers are advised to take out fully comprehensive travel insurance with ‘cancellation for no reason’. This insurance must be able to fully cover cancellation of travel fewer than 60 days prior to arrival.

The Terms and Conditions are subject to change without notice.