Another enthralling week at Londolozi draws to a close with many exciting and memorable sightings having occurred and the ever-present predator dynamics continuing to cause much debate and intrigue with rangers and guests alike.
The dry conditions continue to persist in the Greater Kruger National Park region with no weather systems predicting rain in the near future. However, the local Shangaan people, who have lived in this area for many generations, express optimism at a chance of rainfall slightly earlier this year. One of the reasons for this being that the Jackalberry trees had a particularly good fruiting season and the local belief is that this happens before a good rainy season. One fascinating point to mention is that rhino bulls and wildebeests are beginning to return to and establish territories on the eastern section of Londolozi. Having rarely been seen in that particular area for most of the year, it is encouraging to witness their return. Often animals have far better gauges on future weather conditions than the conventional weather systems and so we hope that they know something that we don’t.
We all look forward to what the future may hold, both regarding our animal sightings, the changing of seasons and the prospect of rain.
Enjoy the Week in Pictures…
The Anderson male leopard stares intently in the direction of some alarming bushbuck whilst protecting his hoisted warthog kill. Before we knew it, the beautiful Nanga female leopard had joined the sighting. 1/6400 at f5.6; ISO 1000.
Fish eagles are thriving in these drying conditions with reducing water levels in waterholes making for much easier hunting opportunities. 1/320 at f18; ISO 800.
The Tsalala pride have been spending a considerable amount of time in the Sand River, making access to view them very difficult. Here, one of the cubs stares at a three-banded plover, contemplating wether or not to launch an attack. Needless to say he was unsuccessful in the hunt. 1/500 at f6.3; ISO 1000.
The Tamboti female leopard listens attentively to rasping calls in the distance, most likely coming from her daughter, the Tamboti young female. 1/4000 at f6.3; ISO 800.
A rare sighting of a leucistic elephant with white eyes… 1/640 at f5.6; ISO 800.
The Mashaba female leopard descends from a sausage tree as the light began to fade. The dark backdrop she is framed against shows up how incredibly long a leopard’s vibrissae or whiskers are. 1/40 at f/5.6; ISO 800.
The dark-maned Matimba male takes note of the Munghen breakaway pride roaring in close proximity. 1/60 at f5.6; ISO 1250.
Two buffalos quench their thirst at one of the drying waterholes as daytime temperatures continue to rise. 1/80 at f4.5; ISO 800.
Three lionesses from the Munghen breakaway pride pause to have a drink before continuing their nightly activities and have recently been moving vast distances under the cover of darkness. 1/40 at f5; ISO 1250.
Two squirrels groom each other in the warm, early morning light. They are highly sociable creatures and this forms part of their social bonding. 1/4000 at f5.6; ISO 800.
After robbing the Nkoveni female leopard of her bushbuck kill, the 4:4 male leopard descends from a leadwood tree and moves off to stash the carcass in the adjacent thick undergrowth. 1/2500 at f4.5; ISO 1000.
A large journey of giraffe feeding together is always something special to witness. Here, two bulls are sizing each other up in the hopes of seeking dominance and access to a female. 1/2500 at f5; ISO 800.
On a separate occasion to the previous sighting, the Tamboti female leopard walks through an open clearing allowing us this beautiful unobstructed view of her. 1/4000 at f5.6; ISO 800.
A Munghen lioness licks her lips as she tries to clean off the residual blood after feeding on a buffalo. 1/1600 at f6.3; ISO 1000.
Definitely one of the most exciting sightings from the week came when we heard reports of the Xidulu female and her young cubs on Londolozi. We hadn’t seen these cubs before and were treated to a spectacle and a memorable sighting. 1/1000 at f5; ISO 800.
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, ...