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The fascinating and intricate lion dynamics continue to take centre stage at Londolozi, providing an amazing spectacle and an incredible privilege to witness and watch unfold. Multiple prides and male coalitions are continuously seeking safe and protected areas to secret away their young cubs, along with maintaining territorial boundaries and superiority.
Two of the Tsalala lionesses are currently hiding 5 young cubs along the banks of the beautiful Manyelethi River, allowing for the rare and truly magnificent opportunity to spend time with this growing pride! Several Mhangeni lionesses are separately secreting their young cubs on varying parts of Londolozi and adjacent properties. It is fantastic to have more frequent visits by the Mhangeni pride, and with the presence of young cubs, we can only start to postulate who their fathers might be?
With so much at stake, we wonder if the Majingilane and Matimba coalitions are set for a colossal battle in the imminent future. With the sighting of the two Mhangeni lionesses occurring very close to the territorial boundary, it is most likely the case that both coalitions believe that they fathered the young cubs. Although, providing greater relative protection for the youngsters, the possibility of the Majingilane and Matimba coalitions interacting increases exponentially. With almost relentless roaring echoing through the crisp winter air, tracks of other coalitions and lionesses scattered around the property and the ominous threat of the Birmingham males, only time will tell what might transpire.
Here is a compilation of a range of photographs taken over the past week. It not only focuses on the incredible animals we have at Londolozi, but also the breath-taking land on which we are situated.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
A female hyena gently raises her young cub away from a scuffle between siblings over the right to feed. Hyenas only have two teats and so can become problematic when she gives birth to triplets.
The Mashaba young female is becoming more and more confident as she slowly reaches independence. Here, a bit of play and social bonding turned slightly aggressive.
A monumental Nile crocodile basks along the bank of a waterhole. Crocodiles will use their external environment to regulate their internal body temperature and are often spotted out of the water during winter.
The light-maned Matimba male looked bemused as he continuously walked around smelling patches around the Sand river. The river is drying up rapidly, leaving only small pools for animals to drink from.
An elephant shrew! It was the first time I have ever seen one here at Londolozi and the first time the tracker I work with, Freddy Ngobeni, had seen one in 37 years!
Seldom viewed on Londolozi, the beautiful Maliliwane young female stares into the camera after finishing off the remains of a duiker kill.
Arguably the best place to stop for a Gin & Tonic in the world… This is an unedited picture taken from a pan in the south of Londolozi.
A young Tsalala cub stares off into the distance as the sun begins to rise. This is the same pride that now has new youngsters in it.
As the dry conditions persist, many elephant herds are being seen around our waterholes and along the Sand River. The midday winter light resulted in an almost perfect reflection.
A number of guests favourite sighting… The female Ostrich always seems to leave one with a memorable experience. Here, the setting sun provided for a beautiful landscape reflection in her eye.
The two Matimba males walk purposefully into the rising sun, roaring and re-enforcing their dominance over Londolozi.
As conditions become cooler, many water monitors have been seen basking in the sun on the rocks around waterholes.
A passel of Green Pigeons come down to have a drink on a crisp winter’s morning.
The Mashaba young female scans the horizon from her vantage point in a marula tree.
During a territorial dispute, a male impala was impaled by the horn of his challenger. It seems that the horn has not punctured any vital areas and is likely to eventually work its way out of his neck
A young cub gets physical, whilst her sister grooms their mother. Play is an incredibly important part of a young lions life, teaching them the skills they will carry forward with them into adulthood.
A dwarf mongoose peers out of its new home. These animals live in large groups, meaning once it has ensured the coast is clear, the rest will follow.
A Tsalala lionesses and her three new cubs. It is always a special occasion to see lion cubs this young.
The ever-growing Mashaba young female plays with her mother. She is growing so rapidly that sometimes it is difficult to tell them apart by size.
Growing up in Cape Town, the opposite end of South Africa from its main wildlife areas, didn't slow Callum down when embarking on his ranger training at Londolozi at the start of 2015. He had slowly begun moving north-east through the country anyway, ...