The Tomboti Female leopard and her Meal
Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa. August 2010.
Nikon D700, 200-400mm f/4, 1/320 @ f/5.6, ISO 3200
I visited Mala Mala last year twice, and at the time I photographed this female leopard she had no name. She is now known as the Tomboti Female Leopard, and she was likely my best subject in all of last year. I photographed something like 22 different leopards in the Sabi Sands alone, and I often got extremely close to these gorgeous cats. The morning we saw her we were also photographing 2 other leopards, and we rotated between the different sightings over many hours. It was absolutely awesome to have to decide which awesome cat to take photos of, and I am glad and honored that the Tomboti Female gave us her all. She moved her impala kill towards the bottom of the tree, which meant she was very very very close to us. She was around 5 meters from my lens, and when I took shots she would temporarily look up and wonder what the sounds were. Gulp.
If you have never been to the Sabi Sands of South Africa, you are missing out on one of the most dense areas for leopards in all of Africa. I now have a recurring safari each year that I call the ‘Majestic Leopards’ safari, and time is split between 2 different camps in the Sabi Sands over an 8-day period. Accommodations are super nice, wildlife is super close and we have more than ample allowance for your photographic gear in the plane flights and in the vehicles. There are still some spaces available for the safari in July!