October 2013
Contact: Arnelle Kendall
Telephone: (561) 330-0850

Cape Leopard Trust Catches and Collars Two Cape Leopards
in the Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve

In September, two Cape leopards (Panthera pardus), a large male and a pregnant female, were caught and collared with highly sophisticated Iridium satellite collars. The leopards were caught for research purposes in the Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve in the Cederberg by Dr. Quinton Martins and his team from the Cape Leopard Trust.Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat has been a major sponsor of The Cape Leopard Trust (CLT) since its inception nine years ago. The project launched in August 2004 as an active predator-conservation working group in the Cape, using research as a tool for conservation. Its mission is to find solutions to human-wildlife conflict and inspire interest in the environment through an interactive and dynamic environmental education program. Over 20 leopards have been collared since then, four of them at Bushmans Kloof, forming part of a long-term research and monitoring project.Recent focus has been on the leopards’ breeding and sub-adult dispersing behavior. Although the CLT was fortunate enough to monitor leopard denning behavior in 2010, this is the first time that a pregnant leopard has been captured in the Cederberg wilderness area. Dr. Martins believes that monitoring the pregnant female and her cubs after they are born could lead to significant new research results about the behavior of this enigmatic species.

Considerable effort is taken to ensure the safety of the animal when caught . Traps are monitored every few hours and response time is kept to an absolute minimum. Caught on September 8, 2013, the female leopard was named Crystal after the nearby Crystal Pools in the Bushmans Kloof Reserve. It is believed that she will give birth within the next few weeksA second leopard, named M18 for the time being, was caught in the same area one week later. Weighing in at 127 lbs., an impressive size compared to the average weight of 75 lbs. for local adult male leopards, he is by far the biggest male leopard ever recorded by the Cape Leopard Trust in the Western Cape. Dr. Martins believes it is possible that he is one of several leopards dispersing from Namibia or the Kalahari, which is set to provide researchers with important new information on the dispersal behavior of the species.




To assist in the intensive capture effort in the Cederberg, Dr. Martins invited American wildlife biologist and colleague Jeff Sikich to be part of two teams working different areas. Sikich, who usually works with the National Park Service in California, is a highly-experienced trapper specializing in tracking mountain lions and jaguars. As with the Cape Leopard Trust, his “foot loop” trapping technique has led to great results in the past and has now helped capture these two Cape leopards in the Cederberg.Once caught, the leopards were immobilized so Dr. Martins and a veterinary surgeon could examine them and install the new highly-sophisticated Iridium satellite collars. The collars, worth $3,500 each and mostly sponsored by Bushmans Kloof, signal a breakthrough in the Cape Leopard Trust’s research efforts. Compared to previous GPS collars which required tracking animal data on foot or by aircraft, the Iridium satellite collars automatically transfer data via satellite on a daily basis, advising Dr. Martins and his team of Crystal’s and M18’s location and activities. Collars last between one and two years, depending on frequency of GPS locations captured. Once sufficient data has been received, the collars will be released by satellite and can be found and picked up via a projected VHF radio signal.The Cape Leopard Trust also uses a “camera trapping” technique at Bushmans Kloof and elsewhere in the Western Cape that allows the team to count the number of leopards in the Cederberg and monitor densities and activity. Dr. Martins will update a five-year survey based on these findings, shedding further light on the Cape leopard ecology.

The results of the continuous research on the Cape leopard, as well as the equally elusive caracal, are not restricted to the Cederberg. They significantly help in understanding the predators’ ecology as a whole, and thus can help alleviate human-wildlife conflict in areas where farmers have problems with predators killing livestock.

Dr. Martins confirms that the partnership between the Cape Leopard Trust, Cape Nature and Bushmans Kloof has played a vital role in the success of this important conservation management project. “Cape leopards are highly elusive animals,” says Martins. “Researching their behavior requires time and advanced techniques, and therefore appropriate funding. Bushmans Kloof’s funding of the first collars contributed very effectively to our research, which led to my PhD on the ecology of leopards in the Cederberg through the University of Bristol (UK). This work has created the foundation for future innovative research , which is hopefully leading to the conservation of this enigmatic species within a broader biodiversity and environmental conservation context.”

It should be noted that The Bushmans Kloof Reserve forms part of the Cape leopards’ range, however the animals do not permanently live in the Reserve. Their home range in the Cederberg can be as large as 625 square miles, so they remain elusive and very difficult to spot.


South Africa is experiencing an increased demand for future accommodations thanks to the currentfavorable exchange rates for most foreign travelers.


For more information and for reservations, please contact Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat at +27 (0)21 437 9278, email:, or visit us online at
Become a fan of Bushmans Kloof on Facebook and follow on Twitter!

About Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat 
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat is a luxurious ecological oasis of 18,533 acres, nestled at the foothills of the breathtaking Cederberg mountains. Here majestic views, staggering rock formations, open plains, invigorating outdoor activities, luxurious accommodations, award-winning Cape cuisine and a wellness experience deeply rooted in Nature combine to create an unforgettable, luxury wilderness adventure. Koro Lodge, the private villa, provides a fully independently catered for experience for families and friends traveling together, which includes the services of a guide with game viewing vehicle, and a dedicated chef and hostess.

Less than three hours’ drive from Cape Town, Bushmans Kloof is unequivocally recognized as a conservation success story and was awarded the Relais & Châteaux Environment Trophy (2007), in recognition of its exceptional environmental and conservation projects. In 2009, it was the Global Winner of Wildlife Conservations Programs in the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Awards, and in 2013 Bushmans Kloof was voted one of the World’s Best Ecolodges by National Geographic Traveler magazine.

Malaria- and predator-free, Bushmans Kloof is a sanctuary for many indigenous plants, animals and birds, including the endangered Cape mountain zebra. It is also home to over 130 Bushman rock art sites, is recognized as one of South Africa’s Natural Heritage Sites, and is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat bases its entire business ethos on preserving the precious natural environment, while providing guests with the ultimate African wilderness experience in the beautiful surroundings of the Cederberg Wilderness Area, which forms part of the Cape Floral Region – a recognized World Heritage site.

A mere 167 miles from Cape Town, the five-star Relais & Châteaux lodge, voted “Best Hotel in the World 2009” by Travel + Leisure, is renowned for its warm, caring service and exceptional hospitality. In 2010, it was listed on the coveted Condé Nast Traveler USA, as one of the “Top 50 Resorts in Africa” in the World’s Best Awards, and for the past three years, was included in the Condé Nast Traveller UK Gold List for “Best Hotels for Food in Africa, Middle East and the Indian Ocean.”

National Geographic Traveler (USA): World’s 25 Best Ecolodges (2013)
TripAdvisor: Certificate of Excellence (2013, 2012)

PMR Africa West Coast Leaders and Achievers Awards:
Diamond Winner Executive Accommodation (2013)

PMR Africa West Coast Leaders and Achievers Awards:
Diamond Winner Private Game Farms/Reserves (2013)

Virtuoso: Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award (2012)

Diners Club International Wine List of the Year Diamond Award five years running

Among the Top 20 Leisure Hotels in Africa, Middle East and Indian Ocean
in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers Awards 2012

Awarded Virtuoso Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award 2012

Graded Three Flutes in the Long Wine List category
in South Africa’s Wine List of the Year Awards 2012

Named Best for Food in the Condé Nast Traveller UK Gold List 2012

About The Red Carnation Hotel Collection 
The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is an award-winning collection of five- and four-star family-run boutique hotels in London, Dorset, Guernsey, Geneva, Palm Beach, South Africa, and Ireland. In South Africa, sister properties include The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town and The Oyster Boxin KwaZulu-Natal. Each property has its own individual character and unique location that reflects the local environment, culture and cuisine. They all share the qualities central to the Red Carnation’s ethos that win them so many prestigious awards – splendid luxury, generous hospitality, inventive and traditional cuisine, private art collections, passionate service and loyal staff committed to creating richly rewarding experiences for all their guests.

For more information about The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, please call toll free from the USA/Canada 1.877.955.1515; contact the Central Reservations; service toll free from almost anywhere in the world: + 800.1698.8740; and visit us at or

Image Download:
For up-to-date, high resolution images,
please visit The Red Carnation Hotel Collection Image Library at
About The TreadRight Foundation
The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established in 2008 by The Travel Corporation(TTC) to undertake conservation work and foster sustainability in the tourism industry.

Collectively funded by TTC’s family of brands, TreadRight supports projects that fall under the themes of water, biodiversity, leadership and community, and which drive the foundation’s vision to preserve the earth’s unique environments and diversity for future generations.

To date, TreadRight has donated more than US $2 million to sustainable tourism projects around the world, in addition to supporting the World Travel & Tourism Council’s ‘Tourism for Tomorrow’ awards. To find out more about the foundation visit:

Red Carnation Hotels – Because We Care


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Digg
  • Pinterest
  • Print Friendly
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr

Maralyn D. Hill, M.Ed.,  The Epicurean Explorer

Executive Editor,

Freelance Lifestyle Journalist

International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA)

Board Member, Co-Chair Conference & Media Trip Committee, Past President

Member: Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)

Member: Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)

Blogs: Where and What in the World & Success with Writing

Follow me: @maralynhill



We welcome press releases on the food, wine, travel, and items related to the hospitality industry. We receive emails with more than we can post to our service. If you would like to post a press release, please click the the submission tab to get the form to upload your release. You can also upload three photos. It will go in pending and be scheduled, unless it is unappropriate. This will enable more of you to have your releases up in a timely manner.