It has almost been two years since commencing my inconceivable journey at Londolozi and every day I become more intrigued and fascinated by this dynamic landscape and the intricate and complex relationships that exist between the vast diversity of fauna and flora that reside here. After an extended period of leave to allow a damaged collarbone to heal (changing gears and driving a 4×4 would have been tricky in a sling!) I recently arrived back from the fast-paced hustle and bustle of city life in Cape Town and Johannesburg, filled with relentless traffic and numerous people, to the tranquil and peaceful setting of Londolozi and the surrounding natural panorama. This period away from the bush has given me a far greater appreciation for those things that those of us who are privileged enough to work here may often take for granted and the unparalleled opportunity we have of working in such an environment.
Upon my return, it was incredible to see the flourishing green grass, the bearing of fruits on many of the trees and the presence of water flowing rapidly in the Sand River. Not only has the rejuvenated landscape given me the opportunity to view many disparate plant and bird species in a contrasting setting but also the modifications, adaptations and invariable change in animal behaviour and territorial boundaries that is inevitable in this dynamic ecosystem.
Personally, this week has been rejuvenating and it is amazing to be back in such a special and unique place that I call home.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
Predominantly nocturnal animals, this Scrub hare nibbled on a blade of grass during the late afternoon, providing a wonderful photographic opportunity. f5.6 @ 1/250; ISO 800.
The newly arrived Flat Rock male and the Mashaba female slake their thirsts after a bout of mating during a hot summer’s day. f5.6 @ 1/1000; ISO 800.
A Tsalala lioness with an injury speculated to be from being gored by a buffalo. The survival of the Tsalala pride will be greatly dependant on this lioness and we wait in anticipation for her swift recovery. f4.5 @ 1/4000; ISO 800.
The Tsalala pride cross the causeway after dark. Subsequent to this photograph, a hippo charged the lions creating a wave that washed a young cub off the bridge and proceeded to launch itself up onto the causeway. Fortunately, due to quick action from its mother, it was able to climb back onto the bridge where they all scrambled for safety. f5.0 @ 1/80; ISO 800.
The Flat Rock male and the Mashaba female show aggression towards one another after a bout of mating. f5.0 @ 1/1000; ISO 800.
A silhouette of a giraffe as it walks across the radiant setting sun. f4.5 @ 1/1000; ISO 800.
The sub-adult from the Tsalala breakaway pride wakes up from her slumber as they continue to lead a nomadic lifestyle, staying below the radar of adjacent prides and coalitions. f8.0 @ 1/400; ISO 800.
The Nanga female stares intently into the distance as a troop of baboons begin to alarm call at another passing predator. f5.0 @ 1/6400; ISO 1000.
A Flap-necked Chameleon sheds its skin as it perches on the small branches of a tree. The skin of a chameleon does not stretch and so the shedding of its skin is crucial for its growth. f5.6 @ 1/80; ISO 1250.
The Mashaba young female athletically hoists her impala kill into a Marula tree. f4.5 @ 1/2000; ISO 1000.
The Mashaba young female stares into the camera whilst regaining her breath. She had just hoisted an impala carcass into a marula tree, which for this still-small leopard is no mean feat. f5.6 @ 1/125; ISO 1000.
A dazzle of zebra look around at a transformed and revitalised landscape, full of fresh water and an abundance of green grass. f5.0 @ 1/1600; ISO 1600.
The Xidulu young male snarls at an approaching troop of baboons as the Xidulu young female quickly removes herself from the imminent threat. f5.0 @ 1/1000; ISO 800.
The life blood of Londolozi; the Sand River. Here a herd of elephants quench their thirst as the summer temperatures begin to soar. f10.0 @ 1/250; ISO 800.
A young cub of the Mhangeni pride appears from between its mother’s legs as she yawns in the late afternoon sun. f6.3 @ 1/400; ISO 800.
Spotting a leopard in the iconic Mahogany tree found in Londolozi’s deep south-east is a dream for most rangers. Here the Inyathini male peers through the perfectly framed branches of this ancient tree. f8.0 @ 1/50; ISO 1000.
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, ...