Londolozi is just about my favourite place. No where else could six hours a day in a car be so enjoyable. The time not spent on game drives is equally magical. Great food, amazing staff and endless activities: from football with the guys in the village, to yoga, massages on the deck, tree-top dining and dinner under the stars in the boma. And all of this out in the middle of the bush. Every time I leave I can’t wait to get back.
This was my third trip to Londolozi Varty Camp, and I’ll be back again soon – but not soon enough! Every visit and every game drive offers something different; this time it was the greens of Autumn for the first time.  Ranger Alfie and Tracker Shadrack are a great team, bursting with knowledge and humour, another key ingredient to making every drive an unforgettable experience.

 

Londolozi is known for its leopards and in this regard it has never disappointed. It was great to see the Mashaba female and her 10 month old cub, having seen her last year when she had two very young cubs, and a couple of years before, again with two young cubs. As a repeat visitor I’m really enjoying getting to know some of the leopards that make Londolozi their home. The rangers’ fantastic knowledge and regular blog updates really help to keep the experience going year after year. On this trip we were also treated to wild dogs and the elusive male cheetah that has territory in the south of Londolozi.

 

Pictures can not portray the feeling of getting up close to these animals in the bush, but the following few images are some of my highlights that will have to keep me going until I’m able to return!

Mashaba female

The Mashaba female prepares to hunt as the heat of the day fades, her cub safely hidden away for now. 1/640 sec at f5.0, ISO 2500.

Giant Kinfisher

A Giant kingfisher surveys the waterhole just outside camp. 1/640 sec at f5.6 ISO 1250.

Mashaba female leopard in thicket

Less than an hour after the first image, the Mashaba female hides in a dense thicket with a young waterbuck kill. 1/125 sec at f4.0 ISO 12800.

Matimba male lion

Shortly after sunrise, one of the brothers from the Matimba coalition rests near the den site of the Tsalala pride mother and daughter pair. 1/800 sec at f5.6 ISO 1250.

Mashaba female and cub

The Mashaba female and her 10-month old cub enjoy a moment together after finishing up the previous night’s waterbuck kill. 1/1000 sec at f5.6 ISO 2000.

mashaba female drinking

The Mashaba female’s cub reflected in the morning light as she washes down her meal with a drink at the nearby waterhole. 1/1250 sec at f4.5 ISO 200.

The Mashaba youngster leopard

The Mashaba cub sets off for a stroll in the morning sunshine after finishing her drink. 1/2000 sec at f4.5 ISO 160.

mashaba female leopard scanning

The Mashaba female uses a low tree to keep an eye on her increasingly independent young cub. 1/500 sec at f4.0 ISO 800.

Matshipiri male lion

One of the brothers from the Matshipiri coalition stretches his legs after feasting on a wildebeest. 1/1250 sec at f4.5 ISO 640.

elephant caked in mud

An elephant bull caked in mud ambles along behind a breeding herd. 1/800 sec at f5.6 ISO 400.

Piva male leopard

My favourite male leopard of Londolozi, the Piva male, starts his late afternoon patrol. 1/800 sec at f5.6 ISO 3200.

wild dogs pack blood

Wild dogs congregate following a successful morning. Two impala should keep them satisfied till the next hunt. 1/800 sec at f5.0 ISO 1250.

Wild dog profile

This wild dog keeps a watch on the growing number of hyenas gathering, hoping to steal any left overs. 1/800 sec at f5.6 ISO 2000.

Sparta pride cub

As the light fades, a young cub of the Sparta pride enjoys an entrée of fly-infested kudu before moving on to suckle on mum’s protein-rich milk. 1/800 sec at f5.6 ISO 6400.

Sparta pride cub

The Sparta pride settles down to relax after a good kudu meal. This cub isn’t quite ready for his bedtime. 1/800 sec at f4.0 ISO 3200.

Sparta pride

This Sparta lioness calls an end to feeding time despite protests from the little ones. 1/800 sec at f5.6 ISO 12800.

male cheetah termite mound

The rarely seen male cheetah rests on a termite mound waiting for potential prey to wander into range. A whole herd of wildebeest – complete with some cheetah-sized youngsters – passed very close by, but apparently he was not in the mood to hunt just yet. 1/1000 sec at f5.6 ISO 250.

hyena looking up

One of several hyenas looks on longingly at a leopard kill lying out of reach in the branches of a tree. 1/500 sec at f4.0 ISO 800.

4:4 male leopard

The somewhat shy 4:4 male rests before returning to finish his impala safely stowed in a nearby tree. Monkey alarm calls helped us to work out where he was hiding. 1/500 sec at f4.0 ISO 2000.

Elephant calf trunk up

A young elephant practices his trumpet call as he charges our jeep before returning to the safety of his mum. 1/200 sec at f4.0 ISO 20000.

Taken with Canon 5D Mkiii and Canon 200-400 F4L 1.4 apart from the last image, which was shot with a Sony A7Rii and Sony 70-200 F4.

Written and photographed by Ian and Lisa Wilson, Londolozi Guest

Filed under Guests Wildlife

16 Comments

on Londolozi: My Favourite Place

Frances
Guest

Fantastic photo – what memories!

Rick Lusk
Guest

Great comments and great photos. It was a pleasure to share our Londolozi experience with you in August 2015. Cheers! Rick & Kari

Regards. Rocco Rossouw
Guest

Great Pictures.

Leslie
Guest

Thanks for sharing your great photos. Especially liked your cheetah. What a perfect background.

Kristine Dong
Guest

Amazing look and read. I agree about Alfie and Shadrack – best guys around. Going for my 5th consecutive yearly visit in 120 days!

gerard gaynor
Guest

Absolutely awesome, thanks guys!

Kim Sams
Guest

Thank you for sharing these amazing photos!

Cate Duffy
Guest

Hi Ian and Lisa. Great to read/see your blog. Those photos turned out brilliantly. Put mine to shame. Missing Londolozi. Cate and Barry X

Ian Wilson
Guest

Hi Cate (and Barry),
Really pleased you enjoyed my photos. We are missing Londolozi too, it’s impossible not to. How was Chobe? Hope you are enjoying the rest of your trip.
Ian and Lisa.

Laurie Chambers
Guest

Puts mine to shame too! It was a pleasure being jeepmates with you all. I’m definitely planning a return trip to Londolozi (with a better camera!)
Laurie (& Ava)

Ian Wilson
Guest

Hi Laurie (and Ava),
Thanks, we were very pleased with our jeepmates too! Ava seemed to be doing a pretty good job with your camera. Hope Alfie and Shadrack made your last few drives memorable too.
Ian and Lisa.

Ian Wilson
Guest

Hi Rick (and Kari),
Thanks, 2015 with you guys was so good we had to go back eight months later! Great to see you are still reading the Londolozi blog. Do you have any plans to go back? Hope you are both well.
Ian and Lisa.

Laurie Chambers
Guest

The last drives were amazing- we saw the female leopard with her daughter, went to the hyena den and saw the cubs, saw the Sparta pride again frolicking at a watering hole, and a pair of water buffalo fighting. Alfie and Shamrock are the best!

Laurie Chambers
Guest

Darn spellcheck! Sorry Shadrack! 🙂

Rick Lusk
Guest

Hi Ian and Lisa, You are so lucky to be able to return again to Londolozi. That is the advantage of living “relatively” close. We would love to go back some time soon, however, with the very long travel and large timezone change it makes it rather difficult. But we will be back! Look forward to seeing more of your blogs in the future 🙂 Rick & Kari

Lisa
Guest

Thank you for sharing your pictures!

Comments are closed.

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