The Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat team are thrilled to share these remarkable pictures of the elusive Cape Mountain Leopard, captured by their very own Field Guide Nicholas van Zykin on the reserve as he escorted guests to dinner at Kadoro on June 15th, 2017 at 1910h, approximately 12 kilometres from the Main Lodge.

It is extremely rare to capture these magnificent creatures on film. Previous camera trapping surveys suggest that there are only around 30-35 adult male and female leopards in a 3000km² area of the Cederberg Wilderness. It is therefore hugely rewarding for the Bushmans Kloof team given their commitment, in partnership with TreadRight, to support the active predator conservation work by The Cape Leopard Trust.

Through this important research work to track and monitor their number and behavior, the team believes that the leopard is female and named Crystal. Crystal was collared back in 2014 and is known to roam the reserve at Bushmans Kloof, which forms part of her home range, estimated to be between 235-600 km²

The delighted guests and Nicholas observed her for around 15 minutes, reporting that she seemed very relaxed and in excellent health, obvious from the beautifully vibrant markings of her coat and stunning crystal blue eyes (hence her name) that were visible through binoculars.

This was a truly wonderful and emotional moment, made even more so by the fact the Bushmans Kloof guests were able to enjoy it first hand; such a terrific example of sustainable tourism in action!

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Related Project(s): The Cape Leopard Trust