Search Results for: leopard

Small Leopard Cheese Knife

Maridadi Designs create and manufacture uniquely decorative and functional pewter art pieces exclusively designed by Allen Hallett.

All Maridadi pewter table wear and gift wear items are spun using lead free Britannia pewter and are hand finished by the talented craftsmen and women of South Africa, making Maridadi products truly unique.

Leopard Cartoon Candle

Swazi Candles was established in 1981. They make their candles using a technique known as ‘mollifiere’ which was originally used in Ancient Rome.

Wax sheets are rolled into patterns, then stretched and rolled again until the desired patterns are produced. The sheets of wax are then cut and applied over a core of white wax which is then moulded into the desired shape.

The outside casing barely melts when the candle is lit, resulting in a glow from inside the candle as it burns down. Each candle is handmade and environmentally friendly as up to 85% of the raw materials are recycled

Leopard Key Ring

Maridadi Designs create and manufacture uniquely decorative and functional pewter art pieces exclusively designed by Allen Hallett.

All Maridadi pewter table wear and gift wear items are spun using lead free Britannia pewter and are hand finished by the talented craftsmen and women of South Africa, making Maridadi products truly unique.

All About Cheetahs


Monday the 4th December marks International Cheetah Day so I wanted to commemorate the occasion and share with you some facts about these beautiful big cats.

Cheetahs occur mainly in eastern and southern Africa and in some parts of Iran. You can identify a cheetah by:

  • a slender body
  • deep chest
  • a small round head
  • spotted coat
  • long thin legs
  • a long spotted tail
  • black streaks on the face

These animals are carnivores and feed on prey such as antelope and gazelle. Cheetahs are active during the day and will hunt during this time. When hunting, a cheetah will stalk their prey to within about 100-300 metres after which they charge towards it. During the chase, the cheetah will trip the prey and bite down on it’s throat to suffocate it to death.


Cheetahs are the fastest land animal and can reach speeds of up to 112km/h (although this speed is not sustainable). The average hunting speed of a cheetah is approximately 64km/h.



Female cheetahs often live alone or with their cubs whereas the adult males will sometimes form social groups known as ‘coalitions’.

These amazing cats are classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and they have suffered a big decline due to excessive hunting in the 20th century. Earlier this year, the global cheetah population had fallen to approximately 7000 in the wild due to poaching, habitat loss, illegal animal trade and human conflict. It won’t be long before cheetahs are added to the Endangered Species list and that will be a very sad day indeed. If you would like to make a donation to the Cheetah Conservation Fund please go to and click on the ‘Donate’ button at the top. Every little bit counts.

I will donate 10% of all sales from big cat inspired homewares to the Cheetah Conservation Fund in December. Together, we can make a difference.

Cheetah inspired homewares – Shop Now

Lion inspired homewares – Shop Now

Leopard inspired homewares – Shop Now

I have been lucky enough over the course of my life to have seen several cheetah in the wild and can only hope that one day I will be able to share this experience with my husband and daughter. On my last trip back to Africa I was able to interact with two rescued cheetah named Diesel and Levi at Wild Is Life in Zimbabwe. These cheetahs arrived at the sanctuary at only 6 weeks old. They were covered in fleas, mangey and immunosuppressed. There were times when the team didn’t know if they would recover. Luckily they did and they have grown into two magnificent creatures. Diesel quite likes a pat from his human friends but Levi is more aloof and prefers to be left alone.

 Diesel and I getting to know each other in 2012. I was surprised to find his coat very coarse to touch and that he purred loudly, just like a house cat!

Do you have any cheetah stories or photos? I would love to hear them. Head on over to our Facebook page and share with us or you can send me an email at:

Don’t forget to shop our African cat inspired range of homewares. They make great gifts!

Battling White Waters

I watched the raft in front of us do a spectacular flip in mid-air, the eyes of the occupants bulging before they were swept rapidly downstream. Our raft started to pick up speed and I said a silent prayer to whoever was listening, ‘please don’t let us tip!’

“Everyone paddle together!” yelled Chris, our guide. “Faster!”

So faster we went, giving it our all as we careened towards our first rapid. ‘I must be mad,’ I thought to myself as the raft was engulfed by white angry water that tossed us around like feathers
in a whirlwind.

“Get down! Get down!” came the shout.

We all hit the deck and clung to the ropes like our lives depended on it. And then there was nothing but water surrounding me. It seems like minutes but could only have been seconds before the raft was spat rudely out from the thundering water. Coughing, I look around at my fellow adventurers and we all start to laugh and whoop in delight. Okay so I may have swallowed what felt like half the river but that was so much fun! I just need to remember to keep my mouth closed underwater.

There is no time to rest as we have a lot more paddling to do to get us through this half day of white water rafting on the mighty Zambezi. Paddling at a more sedate pace, I look around at the high rock walls on both sides and marvel at the beauty of Mother Nature. Trees cling to the sheer faces and monkeys seem to flit easily from tree to tree, dangling above the water far below. Chris tells us to keep an eye open for fish eagles and leopards in the bush around us. Friendly fishermen wave from the banks and the occasional crocodile acknowledges our passing by lazily lifting a
heavy eyelid.

“Don’t worry, they only like white meat,” Chris jokes with us.

I am floating through this magnificent paradise known as the Batoka Gorge in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. I am visiting my home country for a holiday with my family and unfortunately (although in hindsight I should change that to fortunately) my father and fiancé wanted to go white water rafting and somehow I got roped into the madness.

Now I am definitely no adrenaline addict, and was absolutely terrified about taking on these worldfamous rapids in a tiny inflatable boat; but it remains to this day, one of the best things I have everdone! It was so exhilarating and I strongly suggest this must-do, once in a lifetime activity. You won’t regret it.

My adventure is courtesy of Wild Horizons who offer a huge range of activities to keep your tripinteresting. Chris and Titanic (don’t worry, his ship didn’t sink) were our guides and have been
taking thrill seekers through the rapids for years. They were very professional and we received athorough safety briefing before descending into the gorge for the day. The Zambezi rapids are classed Grade 5 by the British Canoe Union and are of the highest quality to be found anywhere inthe world.

Chris is the captain of my raft and he teaches us about the gorge along the way. His knowledge and respect for the river is impressive. Each rapid has a name and he tells us these as we approach each one adding that extra touch of fun to the rise. He also tells us that the local people believe that the Nyaminyami guards the river. This river god has a snake-like body and the head of a fish. Chris points out a giant drawing of the legend on a rock which looks to be standing sentry over a bend in the river. The calm doesn’t last long as we round the bend and brace ourselves for the next round of rapids.

We raise our oars and high five them in the middle of the boat shouting words of teamencouragement to each other. The rapid swallows us up and we paddle furiously. Suddenly the left side of the raft is kicked up and the girl in front of me starts to fall into the churning water. I make a lunge for her but miss by a hair and she is plunged beneath the surface and swept away from the boat. I reach out with my oar and she grabs the end laughing, a big grin on her face.

Rapid number 9, the aptly named ‘Commercial Suicide’, is a Grade 6 rapid and thus, commercially un-run-able. We all get out onto the rocks and walk around it. The guides let our empty rafts brave this one on their own. One of the rafts flips and gets caught on a rock right in the middle of this angry rapid. Whilst we are standing on the banks wondering how we are going to free the trapped vessel, Chris puts his knife between his teeth and makes a mighty leap for the raft, luckily landing safely on his mark. We can only laugh and comment that we think Chris may be a little crazy. A short time later and minus some ropes, casualties of the situation, we all clamber back into the boat for the final rapids of our trip.

My shoulders and legs are burning but all too soon, we make it out of the last rapid. Chris suggests we take a short swim before making the steep climb out of the gorge and we happily oblige,
floating along in our lifejackets and helmets. Loading all my equipment onto my oar to make it easier to carry, I begin the walk up and out of the valley. Steep is an understatement for this climb. It is an almost vertical trek of approximately 750 feet to the top. I am pretty sure the most seasoned mountain goat would find this one a challenge!

The guides, being a lot fitter than us are already cooking up a feast when we arrive at the top and smiling, hand us bottles of cold water which we gulp gratefully down.
Sitting there eating lunch, looking out over the beautiful landscape before me, I grin and think, ‘I will definitely be back to do this again one day!’

Wild Horizons operate out of Victoria Falls and offer full day, half day and multi-day white water rafting experiences. Transfers, a light lunch, medical evacuation and all equipment are included in
the packages. Rafting is offered in both high and low water seasons. The best times of the year to go is during low water season which runs from the 10th August through to the 25th December.
These dates can vary slightly depending on the amount of recent rainfall so it is best to check with the company before you book.

There is a minimum age restriction of fifteen years and it is recommended that you have a moderate level of fitness to cope with this physical activity.

Daily rates for low water rafting are:
Per Person: US$150.00
Daily rates for high water rafting are:
Per Person: US$140.00
For further information or a brochure, contact:
Wild Horizons
PO Box 185, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Ph: +263 (13) 44 571