Romi the Leopard Masai Mara, Kenya

Michelle and I had the opportunity of going on our dream holiday back in 2013 to the Masai Mara, in Kenya. We both LOVE wildlife so we were so excited at the prospect of seeing some wild animals, although we were full aware that sightings were not guaranteed, but never the less the hairs were on the back of our necks as we arrived at the wonderful Little Governors Camp.

You have to cross the Mara River to access Little Governors. Sometimes you have to wait for the elephants to move on, they have the right of way!

That first night Michelle and I discussed what animals we would hope to see. Michelle loves ele's and giraffes and I the big cats, especially cheetahs.

The next day we headed out and Michelle's wishes soon came true but the cheetah for the time being was elusive. Our guide, Julius said there was an animal as beautiful as any animal he had ever seen, her name was Romi. She lives in the woodland near the Governors camps but she is elusive.

I went to bed that night and started thinking about what she would look like and drifted off to the sound of hippos munching outside the tent and memories of the BBC Big Cat diaries that were filmed around Governors especially with the Marsh pride of lions. Next morning we were up early for a balloon flight and then we were off in search of whatever we came across. Julius received a call from a colleague and we did a U turn. he told us to get the cameras ready as he had a surprise for us. Little did we know what was to happen next.

Leaving the plains of the Mara behind we began to enter a wooded area and our pace dropped as we slowly drove through the woodland where we met one other jeep, parked and pointing in the direction of a massive fallen tree. Our hearts missed a beat and our jaws fell open as some distance away lay Romi, on her favourite tree without a care in the world. We cut the engines and just gazed in amazement.

Romi without a care in the World!

We were told that nearby she had a cub but would just stay at a distance and enjoy her and the surroundings. For almost half an hour she just lay on her tree, sometimes getting up for a stretch and a yawn before finally disappearing into the thicket, presumably to return to her cub.

Using a 500mm lens you could get some nice close ups but when she looked straight at you, boy did it make your heart miss a beat!

Leopards can be identified by the patterned necklace around their collar and can live between 12 to 17 years on average. Lions don't like leopards too much and you will often find a leopard will take it's prey up a tree to avoid scavengers. It's only main predator is of course sadly us, who hunt it for its fur, whiskers, claws and tail.

Romi made the National papers not long ago when she got a little too close to a crocodile on the river - click link below for story.

As for the cheetahs, yes we were lucky enough to witness some beautiful moments, but Romi stole the show.

We have our own Etsy shop where we sell a number of our images either as cards or prints. Please click link below if you would like to see more from our travels.


All photos remain copyright of R&M Photography

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