While you can never guarantee a leopard sighting, if you had to leave Silvan without actually seeing a leopard, we would have to seriously question how much gin was in your gin and tonic!
Meet Silvan’s Thandi
One such leopard, well-known in the northern Sabi Sand region, is Thandi. She is a 14-year-old female leopard who has become somewhat of an icon over the past few years. Her old age, the success rate in raising cubs, and distinct physical features make her unique and loved among guests and rangers alike.
Leopards are not always the easiest to tell apart, especially to the untrained eye, but Thandi has strong facial characteristics that set her apart. Her large cartoon-like eyes make her extremely photogenic, and she’s very relaxed with the vehicles, which allows for incredible photo opportunities.
Leopards at Silvan Safari
Most leopards in the Sabi Sand raise an average of two cubs to adulthood per lifetime. This is due to the high number of opposing predators in the Sabi Sand Reserve. However, against all odds, Thandi is currently raising her third cub, Maribye, who is around 16 months and will therefore be ready to leave his mom in the next few months.
Like Mother like Son
Maribye, also known as Maribs for short, is a beautiful leopard himself. Being able to watch mom and son together is something very special. Thandi still patiently fetches him every time she has killed and takes him to the kill to feed. While this won’t happen for much longer, it’s still an incredible sight. Because he is bigger than his mom already, he dominates the kill – only leaving her scraps. There has to be something said about motherly love allowing for this to happen!
A Leopard Legacy
‘Thandi’ means love and is the perfect name for such a beautiful, iconic female. We can’t wait to see what the next chapters hold for these two leopards, with one nearing the end of her life and the other carrying on the legacy of the Queen named Thandi.
Come Visit the Leopards at Silvan Safari
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