The far north of Thornybush Game Reserve is quiet, tranquil and usually it is the road less travelled. We got our tracking hats on, we were going to find old Marvin, our deposed male lion, who spends his time up there. As the search for his giant plate-sized paws continued we became aware that there were smaller cat tracks all over the road. It was not long before we spotted our resident female leopard, Twinspot, hovering around a secret corner – we instinctively knew she had probably hidden her cubs there. We chose not to get close to her den so as not to disturb her or her cubs and continued on our way, still looking for some sign of mighty Marvin. But alas, his tracks were nowhere to be found.
Disappointed, we slowly made our way south, eyes peeled, searching the bush and the dusty track in front of us, as there were female leopard tracks everywhere. Was this still from Twinspot? We were now quite far from where she was last seen. What was she doing? Suddenly, turning a corner, there she was, with a little ball of fur between her two front legs. We watched as she gently picked up the cub in her mouth, the cub curling up its tail and tucking in its feet as mum Twinspot walked quietly and carefully off into the bush. It was a moving moment for us as this was the first time we had seen the cubs. We let Twinspot be, certain that she was responsible for all the leopard tracks we had seen as she searched for the perfect new hiding spot, and we were very glad that she seemed to have found one. We cannot wait to see her again and were rather relieved that mighty Marvin’s tracks were not in her area.
Sometimes the far north can be a bit of a gamble, but with patience, hope and a bit of luck, it can hold the most exceptional wonders, especially when you do not expect them!