Game Report: Mala Mala

March 6, 2013  By: Gretchen

The wildlife in Mala Mala Game Reserve in South Africa is simply amazing. We were bowled over during our first visit and again every time we’ve returned.  They’ve recently seen some exciting births in the reserve, and we wanted to share the news with you. Enjoy!

In recent months the Ostrich Koppies female leopard has been mating with the Airstrip male. As usual, we had been monitoring her closely for any signs of pregnancy. Suspicions of her lactating were raised and these were confirmed toward the end of January with matted hair around her nipples being a clear sign of cubs suckling.

It took an alert ranger travelling in the vicinity of her namesake, the Ostrich Koppies, to spot something scurrying across the granite rocks. Although thinking at the time that it was a rock hyrax, he had in fact discovered the carefully selected den site of the Ostrich Koppies female.

The Ostrich Koppies female was born in October 2004, produced her first litter of two cubs in 2009. Both cubs died in that year. Her next litter in 2010 also consisted of two cubs. One of these female cubs reached independence, but her status is currently unknown. She will now attempt to raise her third litter, interestingly also consisting of two cubs.

It is estimated that the youngsters are around six weeks of age. Their current place of hiding is well vegetated, and has excellent cover. The cubs will be moved periodically to new localities by their mother. This would make good sense to prevent the lair from becoming impregnated with the leopard’s smell, which would attract the unwelcome attention of other predators.

Since discovering the den, the mother has been followed to two separate locations where she has cached a kill. It will be some time before the cubs are able to join their mother on journeys to stashed prey. Cubs will typically be weaned after approximately three months, and it will be around this age that cubs will begin to follow their mother to carcasses.

Rangers will treat the cubs with the usual respect and care during this vulnerable stage of their lives. There will be limited traffic around them, and the cubs will only be viewed while in the presence of their mother.

Reports from the north suggest that the mother of the Ostrich Koppies female, the Campbell Koppies female, is also currently stashing a new litter of cubs. Her cubs have not yet been revealed. The father of these cubs is most likely the Gowrie male.

You can visit Mala Mala and its leopards on our South Africa Deluxe safari, or add it to a customized safari itinerary.

Game report courtesy Mala Mala Game Reserve

Are you interested in planning a Custom Safari to South Africa?

20 Years of Experience & Passion

Our passion for Africa began with a dream of living on the continent – a dream realized. We explored parks, rivers, mountains and villages, learned about the flora and fauna, fell in love with everything, and came away wanting to share our passion for a remarkable continent. Africa Adventure Consultants was born of the desire to give more people the chance to experience Africa’s wonders. Let us guide you into the wilderness.

Contact a Journey Specialist

Pick a Destination

Africa is enormous. There are endless things to see and do, and it can’t all be done in one trip. That said, we realize that many people believe that a trip to Africa is ‘once in a lifetime’ (though many more end up realizing once is not enough!). What do you most want to see? What experiences have you been dreaming of? Visit our destination pages to narrow your choices down, browse our safari types to get a sense of the activities and styles available, or talk with a Journey Specialist to hone in on the areas that will deliver the journey of your imagination.

Contact a Journey Specialist

Trip Ideas

We know it can be hard to narrow down what to do on vacation, especially with the wealth of choices that are available on the African continent. That’s why we have created an array of sample itineraries to inspire your travel. Browse through them – you’ll find everything from family safaris to honeymoons to Kilimanjaro climbs – and find the places and activities that excite you. From there, you can contact a Journey Specialist to start the process of crafting a customized safari just for you!

Contact a Journey Specialist

Get Started

You’re ready – it’s time to plan your safari! Contact one of our expert Journey Specialists and we will collaborate with you to craft your personalized trip.

Contact a Journey Specialist