This last week saw the Sand River water level rise rather substantially and the sound of flowing water could be heard through most of the lodges. It was very exciting to stand on the various camp decks and to see previously dry sandy channels start flowing again. With water now cascading over the causeway there was also much speculation over the radio as to which crossing points in the river were crossable or not. Luckily, the concrete causeway allowed us safe passage into the north of the reserve without fear of getting stuck, but there were a couple of ambitious attempts by some to cross elsewhere which resulted in the tractor having to being called out to pull them free from their sandy trap. It was all laughs as the “Pink Pouch” rapidly changed hands a couple of times in just a few days and we learnt the hard way where you could and couldn’t cross the river.

This last week also turned up another safari first for me, and without a doubt became my highlight of the week. It was the first time I had seen a pack of Wild Dogs chase a leopard into a tree. We had been sitting with a pack of 18 Wild Dogs in the late afternoon when the sound of a leopard rasping its territorial call carried across the clearing towards us. The Wild Dogs immediately leapt to their feet and went to investigate. Upon discovering the Nhlanguleni Female walking towards them a couple hundred metres away they took off at full sprint, sending her leaping for safety into the upper boughs of a nearby Marula tree. She did not seem too phased by the situation and soon fell asleep while the Wild Dogs kicked up a fuss beneath her.

Enjoy This Week in Pictures…

_MG_4331

A female baboon takes care of an itch in the last light of the day. The red swelling by her tail shows that she is in oestrus and could be looking for a mate. 1/500 at f/5,6; ISO 400

_MG_4407

One of the Matimba Males lies up in the road early one morning. 1/640 at f\5,6; ISO 400

 

_MG_4436

The other Matimba Male was seen one morning mating with a lioness from the Mhangeni Breakaway Pride. 1/1000 at f/4,5; ISO 400

 

_MG_4655

It has been very special following the daily progress of these Green-Backed Heron chicks as they nest just off the causeway at the river. It is only a matter of days now before they leave the nest completely. 1/640 at f/5,6; ISO 125

 

_MG_4681

Ranger Kevin Power and Tracker Ray Mabilane arrive with their guests just as the a pack of 18 Wild Dogs chased the Nhlanguleni female into a Marula Tree. 1/1600 at f/4,5; ISO 250

Born to the Tutlwa female in early-mid 2011, the Nhlanguleni female spent her formative months (and years) in and around the Sand River.

U
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Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

Lineage
Sunsetbend
Identification
markings
Timeline
20 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist
_MG_4691

We watched with great amusement as the pack very ambitiously took turns making vein attempts to jump up and get the leopard. 1/1600 at f;4,5; ISO 400

_MG_4695

Once up the tree the Nhlanguleni female didn’t take much notice as she eventually put her head down and rested. 1/1600 at f/5,0; ISO 400

_MG_4718

Another unsuccessful attempt to try and catch the leopard lying in the branches above. 1/800 at f/5,0; ISO 400

_MG_4804

We spotted this Klaas’s Cuckoo calling prominently from it’s perch early one morning. 1/640 at f/5,6; ISO 100

_MG_4650

Also known as “fire rainbows” or “rainbow clouds” the phenomenon we witnessed at the top of these clouds is known as cloud iridescence. This occurs when the sunlight is diffracted off water droplets in the atmosphere. 1/640 at f/4,5; ISO 100

_MG_4785

Two young bull elephants play in the Sand River at sunrise. 1/640 at f/4,5; ISO 400

_MG_4753

The Nhlanguleni female wakes up from an afternoon nap and stares into the setting sun before descending the tree and slipping away into the darkness. 1/250 at f/5,6; ISO 100

Born to the Tutlwa female in early-mid 2011, the Nhlanguleni female spent her formative months (and years) in and around the Sand River.

U
Spotted this leopard?
You've seen this leopard
10 sightings by Members
q

Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

Lineage
Sunsetbend
Identification
markings
Timeline
20 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist

Involved Leopards

Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

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You've seen this leopard

About the Author

James Souchon

Field Guide

James started his guiding career at the world-renowned Phinda Game Reserve, spending four years learning about and showing guests the wonder of the incredibly rich biodiversity that the Maputaland area of South Africa has to offer. Having always wanted to guide in the ...

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18 Comments

on The Week in Pictures #266

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Senior Moment
Guest

I have always wanted that photo. It is why you should have a wide angle lens in the camera of a short zoom.

James Souchon

Hi Ian, a wide angle lens would have definitely been more ideal for the shot! It all happened so quickly.

Lea
Guest

Some beautiful shots here James. So glad you have finally received enough rain to swell the Sand River. Great for humans and animals alike.

James Souchon

Thanks Lea, glad you enjoyed it

John Davis
Guest

Awesome collection Souchon. Love it. Are the Mhangeni breakaway back with Matimbas? And are the Matshapiri pushing in on Londolozi?recently been hearing such developments.

GM Majingilane
Guest

have matimbas and mhangeni breakaway reunited again ?

John Davis
Guest

I am also hearing the Mhangeni breakaway lioness which gave birth to her first litter of cubs to your east, has now brought her cubs on Londolozi and reunited with the other Mhangeni breakaway lionesses. Is she back?

James Tyrrell

Hi John,
At least one lioness has had cubs, but we are yet to see them on Londolozi. They will only be a couple of weeks old, so it may be awhile before we see them…

Jill Larone
Guest

Beautiful pictures, James! I love the fire rainbow image, and it’s so fantastic to see the Wild Dogs back on Londolozi (although the Nhlanguleni female may not agree)! Thank you for sharing these beautiful images with us.

James Souchon

Hi Jill, Thanks very much. Its always very exciting to follow a pack of wild dogs, you never know whats going to happen!

Wendy Hawkins
Guest

Compliments of the Season to you James & all at Londi! Oh wow how amazing is this WIP. The beautiful cloud formation with the rainbow & those nutty dogs trying to reach the Leopard so high in the tree & all the green after the devastating drought, may it now be a thing of the past! Have a great weekend 🙂

James Souchon

Thanks Wendy and the same to you. The reserve is flourishing at the moment with all the water. There is lots of new growth and new life!

Rose Bishop
Guest

Well done James!! Super pics of an amazing place! Keep up the good work! And congratulations on your engagement! We enjoyed having Mum & Dad down to Southbroom near the end of last year! Love Rose

James Souchon

Hi Rose, Thanks very much! 2017 promises to be an exciting year! I hope you keeping well and hopefully catch up soon.

Gordon
Guest

Nice article and pic’s James. You may have accidentally shot yourself in the foot with that pic of the Klaas Cuckoo though …. Helen’s probably wondering why that one was not included in the 110+ types of birds that you found for us last week ! 🙂

Thanks again to you and Richard for another great week at Londolozi

Gordon & Helen

James Souchon

Hi Gordon, hahaha… I was very worried that Helen might see that picture of the Klaas’s Cuckoo. We’ll get it next time! It was such a pleasure and thoroughly enjoyed our week together! Keep well.

Paul
Guest

Are both Matimbas still together? Saw a report that Ginger was in KNP now. Please let me know! Thanks in advance

John Davis
Guest

I also saw that report that mentioned one of the Matimba Males but that could be one of the Northern Matimbas who look similar but have much thicker impressive manes.

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