As we have now come to the end of the winter months at Londolozi, which happens to be my favourite time of the year for the low temperatures, misty mornings and soft warm light that the African bushveld basks in. This season provides us with great opportunities to observe animals and capture some spectacular shots around the perennial Sand River, as well as throughout the rest of the reserve. We have been witness to some interesting developments over the last few months as the animal dynamics are constantly changing at Londolozi.

Here are some pictures I manage to capture of some of my favourite sightings from this past winter.

 

white fronted, bee eater, londolozi, kruger park, GR

White fronted bee eaters are seen here dust bathing on one of the tracks of Londolozi in the late afternoon. These birds throw sand over themselves and roll in the dust to help rid themselves of parasites. This was a photograph I have wanted to capture for some time now and this was the perfect opportunity to get the low angle and backlit shot.

lion, tsalala, londolozi, kruger park, GR

This Tsalala young male was lying in a perfect position for this photograph and had a beautiful backdrop behind him. This lion moved to the termite mound to get a slight height advantage, hoping to spot any hunting opportunities in the distance.

piva, leopard, jackalberry, londolozi, kruger park, GR

This was the last time I had the privilege of viewing the late Piva Male. He was seen here resting on this large branch as he tried to digest the food he had just eaten from an impala kill. Leopard will often host kills in trees to protect their prize from other predators below such as hyenas and lions.

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Piva 3:2 Male
2010 - 2017

Directly descended from the original mother leopard and therefore part of the royal lineage of Londolozi.

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Piva 3:2 Male

Lineage
Mother Leopard
Identification
markings
Timeline
30 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist
lion, drink, tailless, cub, GR

This was my very first sighting of the Tsalala breakaway pride with their cubs. The Tailless female is seen here with the cubs as they move away from a giraffe they had managed to kill early that morning to quench their thirst. Lion cubs are very cautious when approaching the water’s edge and are often on the lookout for crocodiles or any other danger.

elephant, river, crossing, drink, londolozi, kruger park, GR

Something I have always wanted to see is elephants crossing the Sand River in warm afternoon light. This particular herd stopped in the main channel to have a drink. Elephants are very fussy when it comes to the quality of the water they are drinking and are often seen drinking from the flowing parts or the river or digging holes in dry riverbeds for fresher and cleaner water.

cub, tail, leopard, tamboti, londolozi, kruger park, GR

We managed to find the Tamboti female and her cubs early one morning and were treated to them all playing together. This cub was chasing the mother’s tail; all the cub’s playful behaviour is vital for their development and growth.

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Tamboti 4:3 Female
2007 - present

The Tamboti female inhabits the south-eastern sections of Londolozi, having a large part of her territory along the Maxabene Riverbed.

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Tamboti 4:3 Female

Lineage
Sunsetbend
Identification
markings
Timeline
33 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
1 known
Litters
3 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist
cub, lion, lioness, ntsevu, londolozi, kruger park, GR

A sighting of a lifetime. We watched as this Ntsevu lioness moved her cub to a new densite. However this little cub had to run in the wet grass to keep up with its mother and became totally exhausted, forcing the female to take a break and wait for it. Here the cub rests on its mothers back.

nkoveni, leopard, cub, londolozi, kruger park, GR

The Nkoveni female is seen here moving one of her two cubs away from a drainage where she was keeping them and to a near by kill she had successfuly managed to make. The cub looks up at its mother before rubbing its tail in her face. Leopards will often tough heads and rub up against each other as a form of bonding between mother and cubs.

A young female that lives to the east and south of camp. Easily recognised by her 2:2 spot pattern she is often to be found in Marula trees.

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Nkoveni 2:2 Female

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

Mhangeni, lion, lioness, river, londolozi, kruger park, GR

One of the Mhangeni females jumps over a channel of water in the Sand River. Most lions do not enjoy getting their paws wet and so will leap over small water bodies to avoid doing so.

rhino, calf, londolozi, kruger park, GR

A rhino cow and young calf show affection to one another by touching faces late one afternoon. As in many animals , this tactile contact is is a way of bonding and reassuring each other.

mashaba, cub, den, leopard, cute, londolozi, kruger park, GR

This has got to be one of my best memories from this past winter. Here two of the three of the Mashaba female’s new little are seen at a fabulous den sight. Leopards will keep their young cubs in small caves between rocks to keep them safe while they spend a large portion of their time hunting. These two cubs were curious of the Land Rover for a few minutes from the safety of these rocks before making their way back inside the den.

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Mashaba 3:3 Female
2008 - present

The Mashaba female is currently Londolozi’s best known leopard. Her relaxed nature means she is comfortable around the camps and vehicles.

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Mashaba 3:3 Female

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

 

Filed under Photography Wildlife

Involved Leopards

Piva 3:2 Male

Piva 3:2 Male

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Tamboti 4:3 Female

Tamboti 4:3 Female

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Nkoveni 2:2 Female

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

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Mashaba 3:3 Female

Mashaba 3:3 Female

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15 Comments

on 11 Standout Memories From One of Londolozi’s Most Spectacular Winters Yet…

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Marinda Drake

Stunning images Grant. Love the young Tsalala male and tailless female with her cubs. The Rhinos are lovely. The Mashaba female cubs are gorgeous.

Lauren Coape-Arnold

What fabulous pictures, Grant! Especially love the photos of Piva in a tree and Nkoveni + cub. Amazing captures! What a sighting of Mashaba’s cubs!!!

Nickolette Karabush

Wonderful blog and great pictures! Thank You!

Rich Laburn

Awesome set of images Grant, I particularly enjoyed the backlit shot of the bee eaters. What camera and lens setup did you use to capture these pictures?

Ramone Lewis

Who are the fathers of the ntsevu lionesses cubs

James Tyrrell

Ramone sadly we believe that cub to have been killed, but it was most likely fathered by the Matshipiri males.
Over the past few weeks they have been mating with both the Avoca males and the Majingilane, and have been seen in company with the remaining Matshipiri male.

Ian Hall

Some really good photos and some stunners, who wouldn’t want to have taken those leopard cub photos?

Schroederville

I love big cats SO MUCH! I hope to visit Londolozi one day… I’m coming to South Africa in June, it will be my first time ever on the continent and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’ve been saving for 2 years for this trip of a lifetime. After that, I am sure I will want to return and see other places. Londolozi remains number 1 on my list. The lions and leopards are gorgeous! I hope we can end trophy hunting once and for all in my lifetime.

Al Kaiser

Great pics Grant. Hopefully catch up this weekend!

Alison Smith

lovely blog Grant with stunning pictures!

Mauricia Neeley

Amazing Captures. love everyone of them but the Ntsevu lioness & cub is one of my all time favorites!! Sad to see James Tyrrell’s comment below regarding the Ntsevu cub though.

Leonie De Young

Nice blog Grant and beautiful pics – all great and hard to choose just one. Trust you will get rain to green the place up. Thank you.

Susan Strauss

Great shots…I especially love the lion cub on mom’s back and (of course) Mashaba’s cubs. Thanks Grant

Wendy Hawkins

Oh Grant the pictures of the young cubs & calf with their mothers are just so beautiful, but the special one for me is the cub lying on its mothers back <3 Thank you

Callum Evans

Incredible set of experiences! Absolutely love those photos!

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