A green flush; with the first true signs of a wet summer solidified in the ground below us we marvel at the changing landscape. Surface puddles, rain-rinsed canopies and damp clearings have been welcomed by all, and should soon bring tall grass stems and wild flowers.

The Sand River flows gently through a very saturated bed as the fields of lush grasses, which have provided for so many for most of the year, start to sink away into fresh river rapids. The brown meandering current softly tumbles over small boulders and causes the river level to rise every other day. With continued rain the Sand River will soon be a strong force and so the distant horizon is being closely watched in anticipation.

That being said, the wildlife hasn’t failed to impress either. Predators are making the most of their winter-long opportunity to hunt weakened prey but with sudden fresh grazing and browsing opportunities for all these prey species, the predators are soon going to be without as many easy targets. Rain-filled safaris and overcast conditions offered interesting photographic opportunities and occasional afternoon thundershowers created stunning sunsets and glowing landscapes.

A lucky few have the bragging rights/honour of seeing Londolozi’s first impala lamb of the season, as well as hearing and spotting our first Woodland Kingfisher of the summer…

An exciting week of changes, and a reminder of the never ending opportunity to get lost in the magic of the wild.

Enjoy this Week in Pictures…


A Matimba male stretches up and into the deep blue of night as he yawns before a lengthy night’s patrol. 1/20 at f/2.8; ISO 1250.


After a long afternoon of low, grey clouds, the setting sun emerges underneath the distant cloud blanket and lights the land for a few short minutes before falling over the horizon. Just enough time to find a subject! 1/3200 at f/2.8; ISO 1000.


Two hyena cubs rest up in the hot afternoon glow while they await the return of the respective mothers to the den. 1/2500 at f/5; ISO 640.


A well fed Mhangeni breakaway lioness surveys a waterhole not far from camp as her and the rest of the Breakaway pride leave behind the remains of a buffalo carcass. 1/500 at f/2.8; ISO 800.


An early morning look at the Pioneer Camp carpark and its original ox wagon with low level and fast moving clouds sweeping over and creating a dramatic mood. 1/400 at f/4.5; ISO 400.


A returning male Southern Masked Weaver carries some freshly sprouted green grass for the construction of his intricate nest, only to find a female already inside doing some inspections. Hopefully for the persistent male, she allowed him to complete the nest before passing final judgement of its quality: either happy occupancy or a snip of its support strand and disposal into the water below! 1/4000 at f/5.6; ISO 1000.


A wandering young male Warthog traversing through camp let me snap this ultra low angle from the prone position. The Varty Camp sign is just out of focus as an unusual backdrop… 1/1600 at f/2.8; ISO 640.


As an intra-African migrant, this Yellow-billed Kite was already a welcome sight, but treated us by perching mere feet from the side of our vehicle to investigate a nearby carcass we had found. 1/1000 at f/8; ISO 640.


A first time viewing for me,of the Flat Rock young male leopard after his recent arrival onto Londolozi. With much still to claim, his subsequent movements and behaviour will be very interesting to observe. Will he attempt to claim his very own territory right here along the prime river frontage? 1/400 at f/2.8; ISO 1000.


A rare sight of a Secretarybird was a highlight for me, and again we were treated as the giant bird perched and then took off against a beautifully vibrant sunset provided by the distant thunderstorms. 1/640 at f/2.8; ISO 800.


A moody capture of the powerful Piva male showing very little intent while catching up with some much needed rest during a dark and rainy afternoon. 1/250 at f/2.8; ISO 800.

Piva 3:2 Male
2010 - 2017

Directly descended from the original mother leopard and therefore part of the royal lineage of Londolozi.

Spotted this leopard?
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27 sightings by Members

Piva 3:2 Male

Mother Leopard
32 stories
2 known
1 known

Despite their commonly under-appreciated role and their oddly global dislike, the Spotted Hyena is an amazingly intelligent and impressive predator and survivor in the wild. In my eyes they deserve people to have a soft spot for them. This young cub provides some reasons why, just by looking into his. 1/200 at f/2.8; ISO 800.


Don’t panic… There are still four! This was just an interesting capture which I needed to share. Three of the four surviving Ostrich chicks are still dwarfed by their parents, and here the mother’s legs just about look like tree trunks in comparison! 1/4000 at f/2.8; ISO 400.


The week ended with a surprise visit from three of the Majingilane males, far east into the Matimba males’ current territory, who seem to be absent and on their own buffalo kill a great distance to the south. This Majingilane male boasts a glassy right eye and may be completely blind in it, but is as impressively well conditioned as ever. The famous coalition may still have big fight in them! 1/400 at f/5; ISO 800.


Involved Leopards

Piva 3:2 Male

Piva 3:2 Male

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3:4 Female

3:4 Female

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About the Author

Sean Cresswell

Safari Guide

Sean is one of the humblest rangers you are likely to meet. Quietly going about his day, enriching the lives of the many guests he takes out into the bush, it is only when he posts a Week in Pictures or writes an ...

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on The Week in Pictures #258

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

pratik more

there has been aa fight between matimbas and maingilane lions recently.any updates on the encounter?


I wonder when will the breakaway
mhangeni lionesses give birth and are only two pregnant as of now

Ray Nimmo

Great week Sean. Seemingly surprised how did Matimbas and Majingilanes missed each other. Did Majingilanes vicalised on Matimbas domain?

Sean Cresswell

Hi Ray, yes, amazing that they missed each other. They were just too far apart at all times. Majingilane males did not vocalise until the third day they were present on Londolozi, before heading back west into their territory.

Pierre Bichsel

Wonderful show. Very interesting information. Poetry in daily life. Wish to live in South Africa and enjoy such a magnificent place.


didn’t the 3rd little hyena survive?
beautiful pictures!!!

Phoebe Harrell

That warthog in the main banner pic!! <3 These glorious beasts don't get nearly enough camera time. Seeing this beauty made my Friday happier. Thanks!

Sean Cresswell

Phoebe, thanks for the appreciation of such awesome little mammals which I always enjoy seeing!

Alice Ross

Well written Sean and great photos. Enjoyable reading

John stalwart

Matimbas silence won’t last long with so much at stake. Will the bigger Males take on numbers game? Sean you can better elaborate this. I personaly i think Its only about time and right time and and a fair oppertunity. The game can change.

Sean Cresswell

John, it is certainly interesting that the Majingilane males have made an effort to come back east and investigate the Matimba males’ presence. But it is also unusual they would attempt to reclaim territory which they have clearly given up in the recent past. Both coalitions have current cubs to protect and important territories to defend.

Pamela Kesler

When I can begin my morning with the gifts of Londolozi, I know it is already a blessed day. Thank you Sean. Wonderful treasures in the photos.

Jill Larone

Stunning pictures this week Sean, thank you! Any idea what has happened to the Majingilane male’s eye? It’s great to see them back on Londolozi again, but nervous for the new little Matimba cubs. The little Hyena cub is cute and I love seeing the fluffy, little Ostrich chicks doing so well! Have a great weekend everyone!

Sean Cresswell

Hi Jill, no idea how the eye became damaged but it has been slowly getting worse for the past year and a bit. Could even just be a result of the ageing lions. Thanks for the comment!

Mike and Chris

Great blog Sean and incredible images, the light totally brings these photographs to life. Absolutely love the Southern Masked Weaver, perfect timing. The Matimba male yawn with the side light brings back exiting memories of both males hunting the buffaloes just after that shot, crashing, dust and quite an exhilarating landi ride!

Ahmed Adil

Great photos as usual sean. Regarding Majingilane incursion, have the Matimba Males returned or are they still feeding on their buffalo kill?


Darkmane Majingilane looks very old in that picture, Did they roared and announce their presence? thanks

Sean Cresswell

Not until the third day on the property before returning back into the west.

Willie Uys

Thanks again for whetting our appetites while we sit 1500km away. Longing for the bush again.
Have a wonderful weekend and keep those photos rolling – Well done to Sean!!

Gerald Wayne

Matimbas get back soon, your cubs lionesses are in trouble.

Al Kaiser

Great pics! Loved the Flat Rock leopard. Will be interesting to see what happens next.

Wendy Hawkins

Sean, thank you that was wonderful! I love the YBKite & the new Leopard kid on the block I hope next time you will include a picture of the flowing rivers, but keep praying for rain, we are still a long way from relief of the drought! Have a great weekend 🙂

Sean Cresswell

Flowing river and noticeable landscape change pictures to come!!! 🙂

Arda van Dongen

Another beautiful overview of the week. Thank you Sean!


Amazing pics as usual, Sean. Eagerly awaiting news of the changing landscape.

Kristine Dong

Wow, awesome photos! I have a giant photo of that male lion hanging in my living room from a few years ago. Happy to see he is still thriving, though with one eye.

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