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A couple of weeks ago we ran a post featuring some of the best of long-standing guest, Tony Goldman’s bird images.
We promised a follow-up post in which we’d feature some of his best mammal pictures from the same trip, but a few things got in the way and we had to wait until today to release the post. We can promise you it was worth the wait though, so without further ado, enjoy…
An intense stare from one of the Matshipiri male lions. With the absence of the Matimba coalition we have been seeing more and more of these males as they continue to mate with the Mhangeni Breakaway lionesses.
The Mashaba young female peers out from between the trunks of a Tamboti tree. Speculation is still rife as to where this young female will attempt to establish territory, and with the southern riverbank pretty much occupied by the Nhlanguleni, Mashaba, Nkoveni and Xidulu females, the northern side may be her best bet.
Her 5:3 spot pattern is just evident in this beautiful close-up.
A lone zebra wends its way up the hill towards the Londolozi airstrip.
Giraffe spend only a fraction of their time sleeping, the least out of any large mammal (reportedly less than an hour a day), and are very vulnerable when they lie down. This photograph of one lying amongst the foxgloves and wild sesames (the brighter pink flowers just visible near the base of the giraffe’s mane) is therefore a wonderful capture.
An elephant’s sense of smell is one of its sharpest senses. This one tests the air at the approach of the vehicle.
The blood on its neck is evidence o f successful hunt for this wild dog and its pack.
Beautiful morning light illuminates this wild dog pack as they wait for one of their members to return from the hunt.
These dogs are too small to pose any threat to this female giraffe and her calf, but the giraffes still recognizes them as a potential predator and keeps a wary eye on them just in case.
Young Burchell’s zebras tend to have a slightly browner coat colour than their adult contemporaries. From the brownish hue on both this mother and foal, however, it looks as though they may have been rolling in the dirt as well.
The Tsalala cubs take a drink from a pool in the Manyelethi river.
Clear rainwater pools like this one generally offer much cleaner water than permanent waterholes, and lions will take advantage if they can.
Mother and cub drink side by side.
The ring of spots on his forehead is diagnostic. The Piva male has been seen around the Londolozi camps quite regularly of late, and is most likely pushing the younger and smaller Flat Rock male further west.
A direct descendant of the original mother leopard, it is incredible to see this 6th generation male patrolling the same areas that his great-great-great grandmother used to be seen in.
Reddish hues to their skin are evidence of a recent dust bath for this elephant cow and her calf, seen her suckling.
The Mashaba young female adopts the classic feline stalk posture. Fully independent, this young leopard is fully capable of taking down adult impala, despite being small in stature.
Many people don’t realise that it is actually a backwards curl in a cat’s tongue that let’s it lap up water when it drinks, rather than a froward one.
Although covered in gore, this lioness will clean herself up fully in less than an hour once she starts grooming herself properly.
Pointed ears show exactly where this young impala’s attention is directed.
Baboons have excellent eyesight and will sound the alarm if they see a predator, often alerting us to the presence of a lion or leopard in the area. This female stares straight into the camera lens, trying to decide if it represents any threat to her and her infant.
The clearings around Londolozi are stilled filled with the characteristic grunting of the wildebeest calves born at the end of last year. Despite a relatively high mortality rate under the claws and teeth of the local population, a healthy number survive the season.
The resident male cheetah is becoming harder and harder to find owing to the ever increasing grass length, but he still makes the occasional appearance.
Although nyala are usually encountered in riparian woodlands, they are mixed feeders, meaning they browse as well as graze. This male was picking out the choicest grass blades from amongst the wild sesame.
Although much of its diet will still be its mother’s milk, this young rhino will nevertheless be starting to eat the grass that will form pretty much all of its diet when it is older.
Scent-marking plays a very important role in animal communication, as this Matshipiri male demonstrates by sniffing a bushwillow branch where another individual had sprayed scent earlier.
One of the Mathispiri males takes advantage of some shade as the sun starts to heat things up.
A wildebeest calf had been been getting to its feet for the first time in the herd on the left of the picture, and the Mashaba female came charging in from nowhere to attempt to grab it. Although the actual hit took place behind a bush and therefore out of sight, we suspect that the calf’s mother must have rushed at the leopard to try and save her calf, for it was found a few minutes later, back with the herd but with a clear bite mark on its neck.