It’s getting colder, and the animals are feeling it too, as on some of the more chilly mornings things only start getting active after the African sunrises have left the sky and the suns warmth can be felt. This is just about the same time to start to remove one or two of your warm layers. There have been misty mornings, incredible sunsets and the beautiful colours of the Impala Lilly – one of the prominent flowers of winter in the bush. The Tamboti female is mating again, and this morning the rangers heard a mating pair of leopards in the thickets in the north. While Nanga may have lost her cub recently, the prospects remain promising for the future of Londolozi’s leopards.

Enjoy this Week in Pictures…

dudley riverbank youg female

The Dudley Riverbank young female is just over three years old, and while it appears her mother is no-longer territorial, the youngster seems to have taken over a large chunk of her mother’s territory. 1/640, f5.0, ISO 400

leopard at night

Leopards seem to have an almost ethereal aura about them at night. A photo like this epitomizes their mystical status. 1/160, F5.0, ISO 1600

cheetah claws

Usain Bolt would not be the sprinter he is without the spikes on his shoes, and the same can be said for the cheetah, the fastest living mammal. Whilst certainly not as adept at climbing trees as leopards, they nevertheless often make us of low perches to scan for prey and danger or prey, giving one an eye-level view of their claws. 1/4000, F5.6, ISO 800

cheetah hyeana

An aggressive hiss like this is the most a cheetah can really hope to do against a hyena. Hyenas are far stronger and tougher animals than cheetahs, and with their powerful jaws could easily inflict a life-threatening injury. a delicate sprinting machine like a cheetah cannot afford to have any injury that might impact its running ability. 1/800, F5.6, ISO 640

cheetah hyeana2

The relief is palpable on this cheetah’s face as it watches its adversary move away. 1.800, f5.6, ISO 640

misty mornings

Misty mornings. Enough of a reason to appreciate the bush. Despite the often frigid temperatures, it is special just to sit in the dawn and listen to the birds. 1/4000, F4.0


The Lowveld’s smallest carnivore, the dwarf mongoose. They often make use of termite mounds for a night’s home, emerging in the dawn to warm themselves as the sun comes up before heading out to forage through the day. 1/250, F5.6, ISO 400


It is not often that one gets such a clear view of a pearl-spotted owlet. If you look closely you can just make out one of the false-eyes that these little birds have at the back of their heads to confuse potential predators. 1/60, F/16, ISO 200

impala lilly - sabie star

An early-flowering Impala lily/Sabie Star. These beautiful plants add a splash of colour to what can otherwise be a drab winter landscape, but their beauty belies their dangerous nature, as their latex is used as a traditional arrow poison. 1/800, F5.6, ISO 100

leopard tail

A tail can be a useful instrument to swat flies, and is often the only movement from a leopard while it sleeps away the hotter hours of the day. 1/30, F5.6, ISO 200

giraffe in the river

Two giraffe bulls wade across the Sand River at sunset. 1/4000, F6.3, ISO 400

Side Light of male lion

Lion in repose. There is nothing so quintessentially Africa as a male lion spotlit in the darkness. I/125, F4.0, ISO 600

Lion yawn reflection

An unusual take on a male lion yawning in the refection of  some of the remaining water as he prepares to get active in the evening. 1/1000, F4.0, ISO 600

piva tamboti

The Tamboti female, after losing her litter of two a few months ago, is looking to reproduce again as she mates with the Piva male. 1/800, f4,0, ISO 640

rhino sunset

A white rhino bull slowly approaches one of his many middens in order to defecate on it to mark his territory. 1/500, f4.0, ISO 400

Photographed by Don Heyneke, Londolozi Guide

Which sighting of this week is your favourite? 

About the Author

Don Heyneke

Photographic Guide

Don defines the quintessential success story in guide development. Having limited experience in the bush or photography when starting at Londolozi, his years here have been a meteoric rise to prominence, and his understanding of the bush and wildlife around him as well ...

View Don's profile


on The Week in Pictures #185

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Ian Hall

The Rhino shot is real wall candy

Arden Zalman

Always a treat to see a rhino. Tamboti is special to me after spending time with her on. H last visit. Thank you for a wonderful ending to another week.

Laura Eberly

The White Rhino Bull is my favorite! A rare and magnificent creature with an equally magnificent sky behind!

Marinda Drake

Awesome pictures this week Don. Love the dwarf mongoose and the pearl spottet owlet.

Brian C

Great photos. The owl photo is excellent and the lion reflection as well. I enjoyed your action shots of the cheetah/hyena interaction and the acrobatic mating of Tamboti female and Piva male. Its always nice to see the daughter of DRB.

Kim Beasley

They are all great photos so it is hard to choose one over the other. Personal preference is the owl, the leopard’s tale, and the lion’s reflection (unique and very interesting one!).

Jill Grady

All great images Don! My favourites are the Dwarf Mongoose, the Giraffe bulls and the Lion reflection. Thanks for a perfect ending to the week.

Wendy Hawkins

Thank you for my weekend Tonic Don, it is balm for the Soul! I love your frame of the little Owl & the Rhino takes the cake <3 but all your images are stunning. Have an awesome weekend

Loretta Z

They are all amazing pictures and normally I would pick any picture of the lions or leopards as my favorite but for some reason the “misty mornings” shot took my breath away. I had to sit and stare at it for a few moments. I wish I was there.

Ryan James

Great photos Don – love the giraffes in the river.



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