Cats have fascinated man for centuries. He has worshipped them, befriended them, hunted them, drawn them and written about them but throughout the years he has never managed to expose the essence of the cat.

Of the world’s big cats, the leopard is one of the least known. A sly, nocturnal animal, its reclusive nature has thwarted the many attempts to study it in the wild. In an evocative portfolio, The Leopards of Londolozi, author,photographer Lex Hes has managed to penetrate the private life of the wild leopard to reveal its habits and behaviour. The book is the culmination of 12 years of diligent observation by the author who is based at Londolozi, an exclusive lodge situated in the game rich bushveld of the eastern Transvaal.

The Londolozi rangers and trackers were able to achieve their close range study by forming an unprecedented relationship with a group of leopards in the reserve. Showing sensitivity and restraint from the outset, they overcame the initial apprehension and wariness of one particular female and her cubs. Soon they were able to follow the leopard and eventually she became so accustomed to the vehicles that close tracking of the family group was possible. By monitoring the leopards in this way, the rangers have observed behavioural aspects not previously recorded and their success with these unpredictable, aggressive cats has aroused international interest.

The text, drawn from Lex Hes’s personal field observations has sustained vitality with moments of excitement and poignancy as the the constant cycle of life and death in the bush unfolds. The book deals poignantly with the question of the survival of the leopards, whose existence, like that of so many other species is threatened by shrinking habitats.

The outstanding feature of the book is however its visual impact. Lex Hes’s empathy with his subject is almost uncanny and in a collection of superb images, this award winning photographer reveals the quintessential leopard, showing this magnificent cat to rare and dramatic effect.

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Authored by Lex Hes and published by Struik Winchester of Cape Town in 1992. Hard cover bound this First Edition, Standard Edition, 2nd Impression is in Fine condition, covered in plastic and with a Fine dust jacket and Fine Illustrated Slipcase. The size of the slipcase is 319x282x26mm. ISBN 978094730221.

172 pages including index, reference, list of sponsors and subscribers. Illustrated with colour photographs throughout. Clean and well bound. Pristine apart from a gift inscription.