A hungry Sparta pride defined this week for me. We tracked them for three mornings in a row, each time finding them with empty bellies. On the third morning, three of the Majingilane were also in attendance, but were looking pretty full. Tracks of a large herd of buffalo that had been running headed south away from the lions’ position. We think the lionesses may have killed a small buffalo from the herd but had been pushed off their kill by the males. No carcass was found.
Although the cubs are looking relatively skinny, they can go a while without a substantial meal, and we are not too worried about them yet.
The Nyelethi Young female leopard was mating with the Gowrie male for at least four days, and the usual flora fauna and flora were doing their thing during a relatively hot 7 days.
Enjoy this week in pictures…
The Sand River’s apex predator, the Nile Crocodile. This individual has been hanging around the causeway quite a lot recently, waiting for fish to stray too close to his jaws.
One of the older Sparta pride cubs in the Maxabene. The pride has been spending quite a lot of time in this riverbed recently, as the large riverine trees provide cool shade as relief from the Summer sun.
The Sparta pride cubs continue to grow. Here the skinny little things follow their mothers on a hot morning through the Southern grasslands of Londolozi, looking for some shade to rest up in during the day. With 6 out of the 7 cubs being males, imagine if all of them survive… A future Mapogo coalition? Time will tell…
The Hip-scar make, with the Sparta pride as usual, performs the flehmen grimace, analyzing the urine of one of the lionesses to test whether or not she is ready to mate.
The Gowrie male leopard leaps off the Nyelethi young female leopard after one of their mating bouts. They mated far more frequently than any mating pair I have seen before, sometimes copulating every minute or two for over an hour!
The full moon rises over Sparta…
A hungry Sparta lioness watches a white rhino walk by. This enormous grazer is too big even for the hungry Sparta pride and three Majingilanes to try and tackle.
The same sighting. Two of the Majingilane rest in the shade while the rhino stands warily nearby.
The Mashaba female pauses whilst hunting. Straight after this shot was taken she went into a crouch and began stalking something in the grass. We couldn’t see what it was, but all was revealed as she dived into a thicket and a flock of guineafowl exploded out. She missed, so went hungry for awhile longer.
This is soon after Mashaba missed the guineafowl. She had heard some impala snorting just over the hill and gazed in their direction for awhile before deciding it was a no-go as they were too far out in the open.
This zebra was gazing towards the Mashaba female’s position. It had been alerted to the presence of a predator by the raucous cackling of the guineafowl.
A whitefronted bee-eater, one of Londolozi’s most colorful birds.
Not the greatest photo, but if one looks closely, you can see a rare yellow-billed oxpecker in the middle of it’s red-billed cousins. Perched on the back of a white rhino, we were delighted to see this bird who is hardly ever encountered at Londolozi.
The Vomba female and her cub walk down the road on a drizzly morning. They ducked down towards a drainage line shortly after this where we couldn’t follow with the Land Rover
Photographed by James Tyrrell