WE all know Karula, after all she is our favourite leopard. Rexon and Pieter have already told us what her name means, but for those who don’t know, Karula means “Peace”. From her early day’s here in the Sabi Sands, she began to slowly but surely creep into the hearts of the rangers, trackers, guests and of course all who like to watch her on our LIVE game drive. WE know her to be a very relaxed leopard, especially peaceful towards the game drive vehicles. She became pregnant and it wasn’t long before she had two little cubs who showed signs of being relaxed towards all the eager viewers of this beautiful story unfolding before our eyes!!
Karula “Peace”
Now you may ask why the title, Karula VS Matimba. First, who is Matimba and when have WE seen him? Maitmba is a young male leopard, much smaller than the big boys, Mafufunyane and Tyson, but stunning he definitely is. WE haven’t seen him much because his territory is to the west of Djuma. Matimba’s name is quite the controversy, it means the “Powerful One” or “power”. Matimba is still young and relatively small, and he does not fit his name … yet. Matimba had a sister who was called Mbali wich means “flower”. WE hope too see more off him and hopefully one day he will grow in to his name and carry it high up there like Mafufunyane and Tyson do.
On a couple of drives ago, the radio talk on the game drives got us very excited!! WE haven’t seen Karula for a long time and wondered how she was doing. A Ranger from the neighboring Reserve, Safari, called in saying that he was following Karula who was heading north, merely a couple of yards away from our border, it looked like she definitely was going to cross into our traversing area. Rexon dropped everything and turned around and headed straight towards were Brendan from Safari thought Karula was going to cross into Djuma … when Rex and the crew, (filled with excitement of possibly seeing Karula) finally got close to the place where she would cross, Brendan called in again and said that a young male leopard called Matimba had met up with Karula!!!The first thing that raced through my mind was , are the cubs going to be okay, are they in any danger from this threatening new young male. Brendan said that Karula’s cubs weren’t with her at the moment, and that they are safe! What a relief!!
“Peace” & “Power” came head too head, unfortunately it was still in a neighboring farm so WE couldn’t follow them. It was not a friendly confrontation at all. Witnesses said it was a short but brutal fight, our peaceful Karula rapidly turned into a ferocious fighting machine and in a flash overturned the young intruding male and defeated him with no evident scratch or bite marks on her body to show that she had even been in a fight.
Karula, turned back into Safari and headed straight for her cubs while Matimba came into Djuma … having learnt a lesson! Although WE couldn’t see Karula, Matimba definitely was worth the watch and WE were able to spend a minute or so with a brand new growing male Leopard.

Written by Jan Harm Robbertse.