About us and our mission
The tale of the Cape Leopard
Leopards are considered to be vulnerable in Southern Africa, facing the risk of extinction in the medium term.
In the Cape region of South Africa, they are probably more correctly described as critically endangered, with an estimated total population of fewer than 1,000 Cape Leopards. They are the last of the Big 5 to occur naturally there. Loss of habitat, human-caused mortality, and isolation of small populations are major concerns in the conservation of these beautiful animals.
The focus of our mission is an area of the Cape called the Baviaanskloof, a 3,000 square kilometre mega-reserve known for its natural beauty and unique range of biomes. In the Baviaanskloof, leopards occupy inhospitable mountains, as these are the places which have offered them the most protection from people over time; this current habitat range probably reflects only a remnant of its former range in the region.
Here they require large ranges to ensure their food supply is sufficient. On average, the males here use 250 square kilometres while females use 120 square kilometres. We know of one male that roamed as much as 600 square kilometres, with three females hosted within this area, but tragically this cat was shot by a local farmer on 29th November, 2010. More recently, we recorded a male desperately travelling nearly 300km in one direction in the hope of survival. We do not know if he found a mate or made it back to his natural home range.
With the use of GPS collars, camera traps and DNA analysis, population densities can be estimated. In the greater Baviaanskloof area there are probably only 30-35 territorial leopards remaining.
How does Leopard Friendly help?
Each of our products is made from the natural resources of the Cape and with the ingredients deliberately sourced to maximise the impact of our mission. By investing in our Leopard Friendly products there are three ways the Cape Leopard benefits:
Oudeberg Nature Reserve
Our 8,000 acre wilderness, Oudeberg, lies on the Western edge of the Baviaanskloof (“Valley of Baboons”) mega-reserve, UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, containing some of the Kouga mountain range and the source of the Baviaanskloof River, but it showcases well our mission: we have restored the veld from an overgrazed sheep farm to a managed nature reserve, providing a safe haven for the Cape Leopard and a research area for the Landmark Foundation and eco-tourists. Oudeberg is also the source of our Leopard Friendly herbal tea, Wilderness Honeybush.
Anthony & Justyna Curl are the husband and wife team behind Leopard Friendly, which they established in 2016.
They are the largest shareholders in Oudeberg Nature Reserve and sit on the Executive Committee of the Friends of the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area. They are honeybush pioneers, having been among the earliest investors in South Africa’s nascent honeybush industry.