I was fortunate to visit MalaMala twice during my South Africa trip, starting with a two day stay (my prize for winning the Photographer of the Year competition), and later a three day visit in early August, when I brought my photo tour group back to experience the wonders of the reserve.
You never know what you’ll see here. I like to come for the leopards, and indeed, we saw at least six different individuals, including the Kikilezi Female with her cubs (the third time she’s had cubs when I’ve visited!), and a couple of the big males. We had front row seats for a territorial showdown between the Bicycle Crossing Male and the Treehouse Male in the river bed directly across from camp, and on our final morning one of my guests spotted the Bicycle Crossing Male again, giving us a chance to “roll” with him as he patrolled his territory.
Despite our good fortune, leopards weren’t necessarily the highlight of my visits. We had some nice close encounters with male lions from different coalitions a couple times, watched impala rams battling for supremacy, had cute dwarf mongooses next to the vehicle, and enjoyed some nice bird sightings.
Every visit to MalaMala is a joy, and it was a real pleasure being able to share the experience with my clients. Big thanks to our rangers Fritz and Jo for being perfect hosts.