August 5

Silvan’s Leopards: Tiyani’s Legacy Continues with Her Cubs


By Nigel Ridge on
August 5, 2021

Silvan’s leopards are celebrities in their own right, and Tiyani is one of the most loved leopards at Silvan Safari. Our guests have come to know her very well as she makes frequent appearances around the lodge. A safari photographer’s dream, she’s a gorgeous female with beautiful blue-green eyes and a relaxed temperament.

Tiyani’s Claim to Fame 

Her relationship with Silvan started years ago when Tiyani was born in Silvan Safari’s Ansellia Spa when it was still in its building phase. Therefore, she grew up in and around the lodge and quickly became very accustomed to the lay of the land. When she gave birth to her first cub, Ndzutini, she also used Silvan as a haven for sheltering the cub from other predators. Guests were always delighted when Tiyani would show up seemingly out of nowhere and often with Ndzutini in tow.

Ndzutini, the Courageous Cub 

It’s incredibly rare for an adult female’s first cub to reach maturity. Most leopard cubs are killed during their early weeks because they can’t evade predators. Once cubs are around eight weeks old and able to climb, their chances of survival increase. Tiyani successfully raised Ndzutini to adulthood, showing just what an amazing leopard she is.

Now, having seen Tiyani mate a few times over the past few months and then not seeing her for a few weeks in and around the reserve, we were all hoping that she had given birth to a new cub.

New Cub Siblings 

Cute and cuddly, leopard cub sightings are very memorable. Credit: Nigel Ridge

We were thrilled to learn that the legacy of Tiyani continues as we saw her with not one but two new cubs, almost in the same place where she gave birth to Ndzutini.

The first glimpse of the cubs was when Tiyani moved them out of their birth site into a new den site when they were about six weeks old, presumably giving them the chance to climb trees and rocks that weren’t readily available in the lodge itself.

Our first sighting of these six-week-old cubs was incredible. We sat watching Tiyani, in all her splendour. Then, out of nowhere, the two tiny blue-eyed balls of fluff came running out to greet and play with her.

Silvan’s Leopards Learning the Ways of the Wild 

Naturally, they were a bit shy at first, but with Tiyani being so relaxed, they soon relaxed too. This is key for leopard generations learning from their mom how to react and behave around game-drive vehicles and why the Sabi Sand Reserve is the best place to view these magnificent creatures. In the wild, witnessing a leopard is incredible but getting to watch a leopard with her cubs is one of the most unique and amazing sightings any safari-goer could wish for.

Tiyani’s Legacy Continues 

We have been fortunate enough to see the cubs again several times. Every time they are slightly more confident around vehicles and within themselves. It is incredible to watch them as their little personalities develop. We can’t wait to see these two grow with Tiyani and document their progress and fantastic sightings to share with our future Silvan guests. Tiyani’s legacy is continuing to grow here at Silvan – our favourite leopard. 

Come Visit Tiyani and Her Cubs at Silvan Safari

Contact our Travel Experts to organise your trip to see these spectacular leopards in the wild.

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About the author 

Nigel Ridge

My passion and love for wildlife started from a young age. I was fortunate enough to have parents who took me to the bush every chance we got. I then pursued a career in nature conservation. During my practical year, I spent some time as a guide and fell in love with showing people animals for the first time and teaching them about this amazing place I live in. There is nothing better than an early sunrise, late afternoon sunset or staring up at the millions of stars with dead silence around you. Doing this is how I want to spend the rest of my life!

  • We visited Silvan two years ago having been to Chitwa previously. Absolutely loved it and can’t wait to return. We miss you all and all the beautiful creatures! Alan and Liz Mayne

    • Hi Liz,

      Thank you for your lovely comment. Silvan and Chitwa a truly magical! We are so happy you had the opportunity to experience them both (and hopefully not for the last time 😊).

      We hope to see you soon, Africa misses you too!

      Sunny regards from beautiful Cape Town,
      The Rhino Africa Team

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