The opportunity to observe a mama leopard at play with her seven-month-old cub within just a few feet from our safari vehicle, was without doubt a highlight of a recent trip to Namibia.
It might be easy to think I was just in the right place at the right time. I was. The right place being Okonjima: home of The AfriCat Foundation, a conservation game reserve where leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, hyaenas, and herds of big game roam freely within the 200km2 rehabilitation reserves.
And while this particular cub might be grown by the time you visit, his mama (MJ, short for Maha Junior) was born in Okonjima (November 2000) and is completely habituated to vehicles and, after four litters, has taught her cubs that there is nothing to fear. She is the most sighted female leopard in the reserve, with an average of 40 percent of all leopard sightings, so there’s a good chance, if you visit, that you’ll be able to see her too.
ABOUT THE AFRICAT FOUNDATION: AfriCat is a non-profit organization set up to conserve and protect threatened cheetah, leopard, and other wild carnivores of Namibia. Visitors are able to observe some of this program at work and learn more about these amazing and beautiful animals. At Okonjima there is accommodation to suit all budgets, from private villas and luxury bush camp, to a comfortable lodge and self-drive camp site.