Mother & Cub by Denise Schwartz

Nikon D750 / Tamron 150 – 600mm @ 380mm / 1/400 sec / f/6.0 / ISO 640/span>

I am a rank amateur photographer, and our trip to Botswana with Denis was my first photo safari.

Capturing this rare moment between a leopard mother and cubs would not have been possible without Denis’ expertise in African photography game drives.  It is because of Denis’ team work and experience with bush trackers and drivers, his knowledge of terrain and animal behavior, and his patience with people like me who are trying to figure out f-stops that made this indelible moment possible to share.

After days of photographing lions and elephants we set out to track leopards near our camp at Nxabega. After about an hour and a half of tracking we came across this female leopard and her Impala kill, dragging her meal into the bush to conceal it from predators. With Denis directing our driver to position us with the best lighting and clear line of sight, we clicked our cameras away for about 40 minutes before heading off for our morning coffee in the bush, thrilled to have caught such a dramatic moment of nature.

Keen for a second look, after our coffee we resumed tracking the leopard a short distance away and were stunned to discover she was mother of two tiny cubs, little more than a week old.

This awe-inspiring scene made me feel grateful and lucky in the moment, but capturing it gave me a much needed boost of confidence and got me utterly hooked on photography.

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