Patience Pays with a Leopard and her youngster

Andrew Beck Andrew 6 Comments

If there is one thing I’ve learnt in this industry it’s that patience pays. When you have a scene where their is potential for something special it is worth hanging around and waiting.

Too often we are lured away from a scene where not much is happening by the promise of something better somewhere else. This is very seldom the case and I find that if a sighting has potential, you sit and wait.

You may not always be rewarded but your odds are far greater!

This was the case with a leopard and her youngster we photographed on our Exclusive Timbavati Safari earlier this year. intentionally arriving as late in the afternoon as possible when other vehicles head of for sundowners and the light is at its best, we saw the female on the ground with her fresh impala kill.


Her youngster meanwhile was fast asleep in an adjacent Marula Tree. After stealing a couple of documentary type images of the female and her kill we did the same of the sleeping youngster with the lovely pastel tones in the sky as a background.


Knowing full well that the sun behind us was about to turn a burning orange we repositioned ourselves on the other side of the tree in the hopes of capturing that perfect silhouette as the youngster awoke from its nap.

With the kill on the ground there was no way that we would be allowed to make use of a spotlight on this sighting as it would increase the risk of the pair loosing their kill to scavenging lions or hyenas.

Sitting for more than 20 minutes staring into the setting sun watching a dark black, indiscernible blob for any movement proved to be quite frustrating for some of the guests but I knew that this was our best opportunity. Suddenly, and not a moment too soon in terms of the available light, the youngster stirred.






The waiting paid off with these images having being captured in the space of less than 3 minutes.

Thats all it takes for you to either get the shot or miss it completely. Sometimes even less than 3 minutes.

Don’t head off for a quick bathroom break.

Don’t opt for an early sundowner.

Don’t leave the sighting until you know for sure that you’re not going to miss out on anything.

Dont chase around, sit, wait and be patient.

Patience pays…

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About the Author

Andrew Beck

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Very few people can tell you what their passion in life is. Even fewer will be able to tell you that what they do for a living is in fact their passion. My love for the bush and conservation took me on journey which would not only allow me to explore the continent which fascinates me so much, but to share my passion for photography and conservation with others. Be sure to check out my my website and instagram account.

Comments 6

  1. Pingback: Patience Pays with a Leopard and her youngster - Africa Freak

  2. Martha Myers

    These are such wonderful images, Andrew. I’m looking forward even more to Timbavati next June — plenty of time between now and then to work on being patient, and for that youngster to grow up.

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      Andrew Beck

      For sure Martha!

      Not to mention the fact that you have “a couple of days” in prime leopard territory coming up!

      Looking forward to pushing you out of your comfort zone again!

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