July 7

Leopard Sightings of Xindzele with Cubs: Silvan Safari Blog

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July 7, 2022

We recently had some exciting leopard sightings at Silvan Safari. Although the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve where we're located is famous for its frequent sightings of this usually-elusive big cat, lately it's been even better, especially when we got to see Xindzele and her cubs. 

Leopard Sightings at Silvan Safari 

crested francolin

Nature's alarm clock, the Crested Francolin, Image Credit: Brad Mitchell

We started the day with a beautiful sunrise and a good morning call from the crested francolin. I just had a feeling that it was going to be a good day.

We then set off for our game drive with an open mind, excited about what could be waiting for us out there in the bush. I was very excited about the brand new day in this pristine wilderness as I inhaled the crisp morning air.

Tracking Leopards on Safari 

Our tracker, Remember, suddenly spotted a female leopard's tracks. He raised his hand, his trademark sign indicating me to stop. He then got off the game viewing vehicle and knelt to investigate how fresh the tracks for the female leopard were. Remember excitedly told us that the tracks were indeed still very fresh. Since the leopard tracks were trailing down the road, we followed it with the vehicle for about 20 minutes.

Then the tracks of this beautiful animal went down into the Manyeleti River, and I knew it would be a challenge to track it down there due to the thicket. However, our determination to find this elusive animal grew every second. Remember jumped off the vehicle and followed the tracks on foot down the Manyeleti river, where he saw it returning to the road about 200 metres ahead of us. It was so fascinating how Remember kept following the tracks even on such challenging terrain.

Our Leopard Sighting

Xindele's leopard cub at Silvan Safari

Xindele treated us to this incredible sighting of her cubs, Image Credit: John Latham

In less than five minutes of following the leopard tracks, we finally find a female leopard called Xindzele walking down the road, scent marking her territory. I was thrilled by how she continued doing her activities without minding our presence.

She then decided to head back to the Manyeleti river and disappeared into the thicket. We waited close to the thicket for a few minutes. Finally, our patience paid off as she started contact calling for her cubs. Then after about two minutes, the two small cubs appeared from the bushes close to our vehicle and ran into the thicket towards their mother's calls.

Company's Coming 

xindzele and cubs

Xindzele on high alert as she nears the location of her litter, Image Credit: John Latham

Suddenly two hyenas came rushing past our vehicle and chased the cubs and their mother up the tree. Seeing how the leopard cubs could climb the tree so quickly, even at a young age, was incredible. Xindzele started growling at the hyenas, and they promptly disappeared into the thicket with their tails between their legs.

Seeing these cubs for the first time since they were born only about three months ago was amazing. Leopard sightings like these are always special, and this one was indeed the perfect happy ending to our game drive.

See Your Own Leopard Sightings at Silvan Safari 

Silvan Safari is one of the best places on Earth to enjoy sightings of leopards. With large numbers of these beautiful big cats and the ability to track and follow them in an off-road vehicle, there's arguably nowhere better to see a leopard up close. Contact our Rhino Africa Travel Experts to start planning your dream African safari today.

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About the author 

Kenneth Zwane

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