RIP Thandi, Our Native Legend: Silvan Safari Weblog


Existence within the African bush is unforgiving and vicious, as uncomfortable as this fact could also be. The word “survival of the fittest” rings true. Then again, “survival of the fittest, luckiest and smartest” is almost definitely extra correct, despite the fact that the latter does not rather roll off the tongue as simply.

Reisejahr 2022: Pirschfahrt von der Silvan Safari Lodge

The reviews we experience from the again of a safari automobile are living lengthy in our hearts and minds.

It is simple to omit that the animals on safari we really feel so hooked up to and develop to cherish are in danger on a daily basis. They usually may go away us simply once they come.

In Reminiscence of Thandi, Queen of Djuma


Thandi used to be a fully fascinating attractiveness, Symbol Credit score: Rhino Africa

With this moderately sobering idea, we announce the passing of Thandi, a neighborhood legend within the northern Sabi Sand. Thandi used to be amongst our extra incessantly sighted leopards at Silvan and is woven into the area’s historical past by way of distinctive feature of her ongoing legacy. A favorite amongst visitors and guides alike, Thandi used to be steadily fondly known as the Queen of Djuma. Her tale is rather one thing and one we’re going to try to inform on this tribute.

The Story of Thandi


Thandi used to be a very good hunter, noticed right here with a Banded Mongoose, Symbol Credit score: Rhino Africa

Born in overdue 2006 to Karula, a fabled leopard of the Sabi Sand in her personal proper, Thandi used to be considered one of two cubs. She used to be first of all christened Saseka. Then again, the identify did not rather stick, so she used to be renamed “Thandi”, because of this “loved”. And she or he maximum for sure did justice to this identify!

Even if a few of the smaller feminine leopards within the northern Sabi Sand, Thandi made up for her stature with a fierce personality and powerful will. She earned some extent of repute by way of being a routine “solid member” on the preferred Wild Earth digital safari collection. Whether or not she knew it or no longer, the Queen of Djuma without a doubt sparked a flame in lots of African flora and fauna fanatics’ hearts international.

Till her mom’s disappearance in 2017, Thandi’s territory occupied the Buffelshoek and Japanese areas of the northern Sabi Sand. After that, she used to be noticed extra regularly within the japanese sections of the Djuma house, the place she raised her daughter Tlalamba. Lately, Thandi used to be noticed incessantly round Chitwa Chitwa and Torchwood, the place her son Maribye stored her corporate.

The Legacy Left by way of Thandi

Thandi and her son Maribye

Thandi and the latest of her offspring, her son, Maribye, Symbol Credit score: Nigel Ridge

It sort of feels atypical to pass judgement on a leopard’s luck by way of the quantity of offspring she sired. However, it is nature’s cruelest scale of judgement. Excluding the numerous recollections she blessed us and our visitors with, Thandi used to be a a success mom. She controlled to boost six cubs from seven litters to independence between 2010 and 2020, and amongst them are some acquainted faces.

Kuchava, a female leopard, playing in the grass with her cub

Thandi’s daughter, Kuchava, enjoying within the grass together with her cub, Symbol Credit score: Michelle Welvering

Those come with Tlalamba, Maribye, Kuchava (recently elevating a cub of her personal), Thamba, Wabayiza and Bahuti. All of them proceed our Queen’s legacy within the Sabi Sand, and we are hoping they are going to stay on delighting visitors similar to their illustrious mom did.

Thandi’s Unlucky Passing


Long past however by no means forgotten. Thandi will live to tell the tale in our hearts eternally, Symbol Credit score: Agnès Escriva Photographies

On a sport power in early April, there have been reviews of an injured leopard to the east of Arathusa. A group from our neighbours at Arathusa went to analyze, and the realm used to be closed off to sport viewing cars to steer clear of stressing the leopard in query. 

Thandi used to be discovered with a big wound in her chest however nonetheless cell and able to hiking a tree. While there was a good bit of hypothesis referring to the reason for her harm, there is too little concrete proof so to proportion it with you.

The next morning, makes an attempt had been made to find her however had been unsuccessful. Following an on-foot investigation by way of armed rangers from Arathusa the next morning, Thandi’s dead frame used to be discovered rather far from the place she used to be remaining noticed.

To appreciate Mom Nature’s procedure and the cycle of all dwelling issues, Thandi’s frame used to be left undisturbed to go back to the ecosystem. As our neighbours at Arathusa so eloquently said, “From the earth we got here, and to the earth, we will go back”.

With Gratitude


Thandi, the mythical leopard at Silvan, Symbol Credit score: Rhino Africa

So, whilst this can be a unhappy second for all folks at Silvan and all of the Sabi Sand, it is arduous to not smile after we pause to consider Thandi. The numerous particular recollections and valuable glimpses into her existence she shared with us remind us simply how fortunate we had been.

Subsequently, as a substitute of being grief-stricken and harm by way of this unlucky passing, we are opting for to be thankful to were blessed with the time we had with Thandi.

Leisure in Peace, Thandi, our Queen of Djuma.


Thandi used to be simply known by way of her darkish markings underneath each and every eye, Symbol Credit score: Rhino Africa

*With due to our pals and co-workers at Chitwa Chitwa and Arathusa who so graciously contributed to telling Thandi’s tale.

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