Leopards are always a highlight on a safari, but on our first afternoon at MalaMala, we had an incredible sighting that included the mother, her young cub and a kill!

We had only just left camp when news came in that a mother and her cub had been spotted earlier that day, near a pile of large boulders alongside a low ridge that flanked the Sand River.  When we approached, all we could see was the mother looking around nervously, but not bothered by us at all.  It soon became evident that she had a freshly killed antelope stashed at the base of the rocks and we knew that her cub was sure to be close.

Sure enough a few minutes after we found her, she gave a low contact call and within seconds there was movement.  At first, it was tricky to see through the tangle of branches and shrubs, but shortly after, the cub emerged.  She dragged her kill into some slightly more open vegetation and we enjoyed the sight of her young cub stalking her tail, climbing on the rocks and generally being as inconspicuous as it could be.

We left them with their kill, the mother plucking the carcass in true leopard form, while the cub, who at that age, is still mainly on milk, enjoyed the play time.  We heard later that a hyena had sauntered in and taken over their kill, but both the mother and cub were able to escape without injury.