Written and Photographed by Dave Strachan:

Not many people debut and retire on the same day.

I, however, enter my last two week stint at Londolozi before heading off on a six month travel of the Americas. So this shall be my first and last contribution to the Londolozi blog. It is a great opportunity to briefly shed light on, and give thanks to, the invaluable life experience of being immersed in the glory of nature.

My biggest thank you would be to the tracker I have been so privileged to call my partner, Judas Jehovah Ngomane. A man that has come from serious hardships as a child soldier in Mozambique, a man that is self made, a man that is hugely experienced and yet still has the humility to welcome a rookie like me in, and impart his infinite wealth of knowledge to. A man whose smile and laugh are the most contagious I’ve ever come across and a man whose wisdom is held in such high esteem by the local community. Nkensile ngopfu (thank you) Baba(father) Ngomane!

The community that is Londolozi is something I will miss hugely. I have met and made some of my closest friends here, and to be able to live and work with friends that become family has made the experience indescribably more enjoyable.
To watch the sun rise and set each day and listen to the bush come alive as day breaks are moments I’ll cherish forever. To sit with large herds of elephants and be completely mesmerized by the beauty of a leopard. To feel the power of a male lion’s roar and the tranquility of a flowing river. From listening to hippos snort and the call of an oriole, these memories are engrained in me forever.

A huge thank you to all involved in my time here.

Enjoy my first and last Week in Pictures…

An intimidating stare from one of the Matimba males. We have recently seen the return of one of this coalition, fathers of the Tsalala pride’s cubs. Hopefully it can bring some stability to the pride as they’ve been quite nomadic of late, trying to avoid various coalitions of other males that could threaten to the cubs survival.

This hippo is not shy of opening his mouth and displaying his enormous teeth for all to see. It is a show of dominance and there is no doubt of that, as he has this entire waterhole to himself.

The stereotypical hunting technique of the Pied Kingfisher, hovering above a water source and then diving with impeccable accuracy.

A female impala and lamb groom themselves at sunset. Although so numerous, theres no denying the astoundingly gorgeous coats of the impala, as they are meticulously cleaned everyday. Their lower incisors sit loose in the sockets and act as a comb to remove any parasites or dirt.

These musketeers come down for a late morning drink after foraging around on the ground for any tasty morsels. As the heat sets in, baboons will often enjoy a midday snooze.

This elephant bull feeds through a field of foxgloves. We looked on as he slowly meandered across the crest, seemingly in a trance and totally oblivious to our presence.

The Inyathini male looks on, whilst perfectly poised for one of my favourite images of him. He is currently covering huge distances in the southern parts of the reserve and is seemingly expanding his territory each day.

A fierce growl at a hyena from the Ndzanzeni female. The hyena walked right in front of our car allowing us to be in perfect position for this image.

A front-on from this Zebra. With its distinctive black and white stripes it can always make for interesting editing.

This Southern White Faced Owl surveys the area for something to eat. They feed on a wide variety of prey, anything ranging from moths to small rodents.

A rare sight seeing a leopard in a dead Leadwood tree and one that I was fortunate enough to experience!

One of the Nkoveni female’s cubs peers around the edge of this Brown Ivory tree on its way down from the canopy. Leopards are incredible climbers from even an early age.

The magnificent African sunset. It is always a privilege watching the sun go down being surrounded by a pristine landscape.

There he is! The main man. A smile that radiates happiness. What an honour to have had Judas Ngomane as the tracker I’ve worked with for over two years!

This an apt image for my departure from Londolozi. One of the Tsalala cubs peers from the Exit sign!

Written and Photographed by Dave Strachan.

About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills were well developed, and he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team as a result. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the photographic skills ...

More stories by James

28 Comments

on The Week in Pictures #283
    Raphael Gameiro says:

    Regarding Matimbas you write,”We have recently seen the return of one of this Coalition”
    So where is the other one? Is he dead or missing?
    Happy Farewell

    Carole Edstrom says:

    Great photos Dave! We had the privilege of sending 5 amazing days with you and Judas last year. The best 5 days of safari for us! Good luck on your travels! We hope to be back at Londolozi in 2 years or so. Maybe, you will be back?

    Kim Sams says:

    Stunning photos! Thanks for sharing and enjoy your travels! If you pass through Georgia, USA and need a place to stay, please contact me. We would love to have a member of the Londolozi family! My daughter and I spent a few days there with Sean and Rob in 2015 and are starting to make plans to return in 2018.

    :( says:

    I love your blogs so shocking you will leave londolozi. One of the best writters of lion warfare πŸ™

    Dipti Pandey says:

    We will miss you Dave! Good luck on your journey!

    Barbara says:

    Awesome pictures! Good luck in the Americas!

    Valerie says:

    I have truly loved your posts on this blog…you have an amazing eye and talent for getting to the heart of the picture as well as expressing he emotion behind them. I will miss your posts.
    Good luck,take care, happy trails.

    Sondra Brunone says:

    Dave – I just want you to know that your patience and enthusiasm (and encouragement!) is what I credit with my newly-discovered passion for nature and wildlife photography. Nikki Upshaw and I still marvel at how fortunate we were to have such amazing sightings and experiences at Londolozi last April. It was one of the greatest joys of my life. I wish you well as you travel our continent. You’ll find that the game is not as big here in the Americas – but the vast scenery is truly breathtaking. If you find your way out to the American west (particularly northern Arizona – Sedona!) please don’t hesitate to say hi! My husband and I would be happy to host your visit. Best Wishes to you!

    Suzanne Myers says:

    BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS and WONDERFULLY TOLD!!! I am so thrilled to see MATIMBA guy around and hopefully BOTH of them return to claim and care for the Tsalalas!!!

    Heilie Uys says:

    Dear James,
    As always the Londolozi news makes my day not only for the outstanding pictures and commentary but it helps to make us feel part of the bush which we love!!!

    Patti says:

    Dave, great luck in your travels!! Come see us in Florida!!!

    Les Moodie says:

    Enjoy your wanderings Dave. I wish you well. A very interesting account of your stay at Londolosi. Go well

    Senior Moment says:

    Wowzer, some cracking photos here.

    Patsy Crisp says:

    Thanks for the lovely pics – they all have a story to tell. Happy travels and enjoy – and I am sure many Americanos will enjoy your tales from Londolozi – probably will not believe you!

    Odie says:

    lol i misread lol

    Darlene Knott says:

    Great photos! What a smile Judas has! Dazzling!

    Bettie Jamarik says:

    What wonderful photos! I miss Londolozi! In my soul – love everyone there! Bettie Jamarik

    Peter Nussbaum says:

    If James is in the San Francisco Bay Area, we’d love to see him.

    Al Kaiser says:

    Wonderful pictures and best wishes. Thanks for taking the snake out of Varty 9 for me!!

    Lea says:

    A really nice blog Dave and some incredible pictures of your time at Londolozi. Nice of you to mention your tracker and give him some credit for teaching you the ways of the bush and animal behaviour. I wish you all the very best on your new adventure. Maybe you will return one day to Londolozi having seen a bit more of the world. Good luck and God bless.

    Gillian Evans says:

    Great photos! .. what took you so long to show them!! Love them all! Great to see the owl .. rarely appears on a Londolozi blog!

    Anthony Brunskill says:

    Magnificent photos of the animals caught on camera in there natural habitat, creating memories forever, well done to all, enriching our lives. Thank you

    judy clayton says:

    Great pictures for your first & last blog ! We will remember our amazing safari with you and the incredible Judas for many years – what adventures we had with the hyenas and Manghene lioness – we wish you all the best for the future – safe travels Judy & Simon

    Vinay Kumar says:

    The matimba Male has a small cut under his nose. Has he been in a fight recently?

    Jill Larone says:

    Dave, thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and your wonderful tribute to Judas and some of your experiences of the past two years at Londolozi. I wish you safe travels and many incredible adventures on your journey ahead.

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