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Ruaha: Spotted All-Stars, Meet Bandido

Quintessential beauty, unforgettable elegance, striking power, heavenly grace and a perfect balance of many qualities: these are the words that come to my mind every time I see a leopard.

Bandido


Bandido is an old pirate, one ear just a stump, his gums covering the lower incisors, and has a massive body full of scars. He often walks through the camp at night, and he is not afraid of humans: he just keeps a safe distance and does not run away at full speed when we cross his path. Completely at ease when he is up a tree, he does not like to follow roads when he is on the ground, usually moving steadily into thicker areas of undergrowth.

An old boy, definitely in his prime, he is one of the princes of the Mwagusi Valley “

Bandido roams all the area from Mbagi almost to White Rocks, more or less ten kilometres as the crow flies. He is not the only huge male around, as strangely his range overlaps with that of a very shy, blue-eyed male we call Ghost. Last year we saw him with a female between Lorenzo’s and my tent, and keeping just out of view, he mated with her all night, keeping us and half the camp awake!

 

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