Every game drive was a success, but this particular one was historic in my two dozen years of safaris.  We were less than 300 meters from camp when we stopped to watch five lions awaken and after watching them for just ten minutes, Ranger Alistair Smith cranked up and before we could travel a city block, we spotted a female leopard and her male cub resting on a nearby termite mound.

The Nkoveni female leopard with her remaining cub.

5
Nkoveni 2:2 Female
2012 - present

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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23 sightings by Members
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Nkoveni 2:2 Female

Lineage
Sunsetbend
Identification
markings
Timeline
38 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist
 
4
Flat Rock 3:2 Male
2013 - present

A leopard who took advantage of the death of the 4:4 male in 2016 to grab territory to the west of the Londolozi camps.

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12 sightings by Members
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Flat Rock 3:2 Male

Lineage
Unknown
Identification
markings
Timeline
16 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
0 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist

We’d heard that this leopard, the Nkoveni female, had lost her dominant male and father of two cubs when he fell prey to lions a few weeks prior and that a male leopard seeking to expand his territory, the Flat Rock male, had recently killed one of those cubs. The mother succeeded in luring the Flat Rock male away from the remaining cub, who’d survived while left alone, but as we watched, the pride we had just left spotted them on the termite mound and began walking towards them. The Nkoveni female saw them at the last moment and narrowly escaped, hiding for cover in a nearby thicket.

As we followed the leopards through the bush, we rounded a corner to see three beautiful wild dogs looking our way. We were told that these three musketeers had separated from a pack of twelve or so and that they (two males and a female) were likely going to set up their own pack.

We stayed with these painted dogs for several miles watching them run.

Wild-Dogs

The sight we were met by when we left the lions and leopards. Wild dogs are incredibly rare and so we felt very lucky to spot them.

They finally crossed east out of Londolozi and so we bid them farewell.

We were all congratulating our team on the most spectacular game drive ever when we suddenly saw the road ahead was blocked by a herd of over a dozen elephants.

What a great sight. We watched them patiently dig up tree roots, seeking moisture and occasionally rumbling with one another over digging spots.

As we continued the drive, we passed by a member of the anti-poaching squad, the fearless protectors of the rhinos and other endangered species.  Their record is admirable as since they were constituted, we understand that the rhino population has been fully protected and is thriving on the property and beyond.

As Dave Varty has said, these guys are but one of the many sure and efficient ways Londolozi employs to protect these animals. Others initiatives include incentivizing stewardship and preservation, whilst making the odds of poaching a lesser pursuit.

We then began heading toward a suitable place to stop for a coffee. Passing by a waterhole we spent a bit of time watching the birds and crocodiles.  Then we came across the perfect, deserted, flattened grass spot for our morning coffee and snacks. We all jumped out and Alistair and Tracker Euce Madonsela laid out a tasty coffee, hot chocolate, tea, biscuit, and chocolate chip cookie spread. We were so absorbed in recounting the events and occurrences of the morning that until someone caught the movement in the brush, we hadn’t seen that we were being watched by a large white rhino.

The rhino that found us on our morning coffee stop.

He never came close, preferring to watch us sip our coffee from the comfort of the thickets. Someone mentioned that we hadn’t yet seen zebras and sure enough they were waiting around the next corner.

And if that wasn’t enough, we managed to find a dazzle of zebra on our way home.

What a day that was ….

Thanks for a wild and wonderful stay at Londolozi with special thanks for this morning’s drive to our guide Alistair Smith and tracker Euce Madonsela.

Warmest Regards,

Scott

Filed under Guests Wildlife

Involved Leopards

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

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Flat Rock 3:2 Male

Flat Rock 3:2 Male

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8 Comments

on An Exemplary Safari Day at Londolozi

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Marinda Drake

Lovely blog Scott. Great sightings. It is always special to see wild dogs. And to top it a rhino aswell.

Alistair Smith

Hi Scott. Thank you for writing this wonderful piece on our incredible morning spent together recently. It truly was a series of phenomenal events that shaped into one of the best, if not THE best mornings I have ever had out here.

Jeff Rodgers

Ho hum . . . just another spectacular day at Londolozi.

Denise Vouri

Sometimes the stars align and one has the most amazing experiences! I’m sure you’ll never forget your special morning.

Darlene Knott

What a day! The beautiful painted dogs and a rhino on top of everything else! This is why we love Africa!

Rich Laburn

Incredible morning with the full range of wildlife at Londolozi presenting itself to you and your team. Thank you for sharing, im so pleased that the leopards managed to evade the lions! Look forward to seeing you back with us soon. 🙂

Leonie De Young

What an incredible experience for you all. Thank you for sharing with us. Hope the little leopard cub will stay safe and grow to be a big boy.

Callum Evans

Now that’s what I call an incredible day!

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