Life as a Londolozi trainee ranger is not boring! Days are filled up very quickly as you run around learning about every facet of lodge life whilst at the same time studying and building up knowledge, writing tests and assignments and most excitingly, taking game drives most mornings and afternoons. It’s on these game drives that each one of the nine new trainees gets a chance to sit behind the wheel and put into practice everything that has been learnt in the days prior. With the focus being on rifle training two weeks ago there wasn’t too much time for them in the bush but this last week has seen them out every morning and afternoon with special focus on geology and botany. Spending that many hours out in the bush every day is bound to yield some interesting sightings and that is why we asked them to share with us some of their best. What’s also a bit different this week is that most of the images have been taken on an iphone.

Enjoy this Week in Pictures through the phone camera of a Londolozi Trainee…


Don Heyneke photographs the Nhlanguleni female leopard in a Marula tree. Interestingly, Callum Gowar photographed the same leopard in the same tree on the same branch 1 month prior.


A silhouette of the Nhlanguleni female leopard stretching and yawning before she descended the Marula tree she had been resting in.


The Nhlanguleni female leopard watches a herd of impala feeding in the distance. Leopards will often listen and watch for prey activity while they’re resting so that they have a good sense of what direction to head in once the sun sets.

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

Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

11 stories
2 known
1 known
sunset grass

With the grass getting tall it makes for the perfect sunset scene as the grass tops catch the last rays of sun for the day.


A large elephant bull throws dust over himself as the rest of the herd moves off in the background.


Tim Brewer chats to the trainees about the different geological formations, rock and soil types they can expect to find on the reserve and how to identify them.


A beautiful landscape scene as another day of training comes to an end.


A breeding herd of elephants swim in one of the waterholes as the sun rises behind them.


Head Ranger, Don Heyneke takes a moment for a quick “cat nap” late one afternoon.


A lioness from the Tsalala Pride rests on the edge of the Sand River. She lifted her head momentarily as a small group of buffalo bulls stroll by.


A cub from the Tsalala Pride yawns before getting up and re-locating to a shady spot next to some of its siblings.


One of the Tsalala cubs begins to feel the mid morning heat and takes advantage of a fallen stump to sleep on.


A few days ago the Sand River rose quite dramatically in just a few hours after lots of rain fell further upstream in the catchment area.


Sunsets and clouds always make for fantastic photo opportunities.


A funnel-web spider peers out of its web.

tailless whip scorpion

Not often seen, a tailless whip scorpion caught everyones attention one evening.


With the together, everyone takes a moment to enjoy yet another breathtaking sunset after a long day of training.

Filed under Wildlife

Involved Leopards

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 Mapuataland area of South Africa has to offer. Having always wanted to guide in the ...

More stories by James


on The Week in Pictures #269
    Fran says:

    It was so brown when our group was there in October. It looks so beautiful with all the green and flowing water now.

    Guido,Dina says:

    a lot of water in the Sand River !!We are counting the days for Botswana!

    Wendy Hawkins says:

    Thank you James for sharing the trainee pictures, they are all beautiful & yes especially all the green & full rivers & dams <3

    Francis Daisy janssen says:

    Just stunning for words wow ,I love your story you bring it to life. Thank you

    Lynne says:

    The beautiful photos are so much appreciated. We live in a wonderful land !

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