I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy” – Ernest Hemingway

The dust at Londolozi has begun to settle and the onset of summer rains is fast approaching. With 30mm of rain having fallen not too long ago, the grass, flowers and leaves are bursting on a daily basis with a flush of greenery and colour across the landscape, providing herbivores with a rich food supply. It is a time of happiness, fresh scents and the luminous greens of new life, which Amy Attenborough wrote about in her blog yesterday.

Elephant, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and buffalo herds have been well-dispersed since the first rain, due to localized showers and widened food potential. Migratory birds are continuing to flock onto Londolozi, in search of the budding insect population and warm summer weather and predator dynamics are constantly changing. The Tsalala pride has been reduced to three individuals, with the whereabouts of the others is still unclear. We have sadly also experienced the loss of one of the Tsalala breakaway cubs as well as uncertainty regarding the Mashaba female leopard’s new offspring. The Majingilane male lions have been moving through the central parts of Londolozi, scent marking regularly. The rising heat across the landscape creates a spectacle at waterholes with gatherings of mammals and birds alike. It’s seems that things are heating up in more ways than one on Londolozi.

One of my highlights this week have been the influx of bird species, particularly the arrival of some rarely-seen broad-billed rollers. The Mashaba young female leopard has also been spending some time with the Inyathini male, feeding on the same carcasses, which has been fascinating to watch. The Tsalala and Tsalala breakaway prides have been in the same company again, tempting us to all ask again if they will re-join as their numbers dwindle.

No matter where you are in the world I hope the following images below keep you connected with Londolozi, the ever-changing environment and the experiences we are so lucky to be a part of.

Enjoy this Week in Pictures…

The Nanga female photographed on her evening patrol. The sun was setting, igniting the landscape and this beautiful leopard in golden light as she marked her territory. f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 640

8
Nanga 4:3 Female
2009 - present

The Nanga female was born to the Nyelethi 4:4 female in 2009 as part of a litter of three.

U
Spotted this leopard?
You've seen this leopard
11 sightings by Members
q

Nanga 4:3 Female

Lineage
Saseka Female
Identification
markings
Timeline
22 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
4 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist

A herd of about 200 buffalo begin to wake as the early morning sun rises.We have been seeing small groupings of buffalo bulls throughout Londolozi but the large herds have not been as common of late. This is possibly due to localized rain providing fresh grass in different areas, thereby dispersing these herds.  f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 800

The Mashaba female stares at an approaching hyena who had been drawn in by the scent of a fresh impala kill stashed meters above her head. Hyenas and other rival predators are the primary reason that leopards go to the effort of hoisting their kills. f/5, 1/3200, ISO 800

9
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.

U
Spotted this leopard?
You've seen this leopard
22 sightings by Members
q

Mashaba 3:3 Female

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

A male black-bellied bustard utilizes a large termite mound to display its presence to females. Although these birds occur throughout the year, it’s after the onset of the first rains that we begin to hear them call and see them more prolifically. f/5.6, 1/8000, ISO 800

A close up of the eyes of one of the Tsalala breakaway lion cubs. One cub has not been seen for some time and at this point we are sadly assuming it to be dead. f/6.3, 1/1500, ISO 1000

A female buffalo with a very peculiar and unique shape to her horns. This growth form may be caused by mineral deficiencies, inbreeding or injury, and seems to occur more often in the female of the species. f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 800

Atop a termite mound, the Tamboti female’s cub stares back at us with curiosity, naturally framed by the branches of a sandpaper raisin bush. f/6.3, 1/100, ISO 1000

Overlooking the Varty camp dam, a young baboon grabs onto its mother whilst the female is groomed by a younger individual. I can sit for hours with these baboons as they exhibit so many human-like characteristics. f/5.6, 1/5000, ISO 640

A rare migratory bird and new arrival with the season, a broad-billed roller sits atop a dead tree. We are lucky enough to have two pairs nesting on Londolozi that we know of currently. f/6.3, 1/400, ISO 1000, +2 EV

White-fronted bee-eater, sunrise, bird, colours

Driving along the Sand River gives us the best opportunity of seeing flocks of white-fronted bee-eaters. They often sit on top of branches, hawking insects that fly by before returning to the same perch to feed. f/6.3, 1/1000, ISO 640

Male lion, Majingilane, stare, mane, eyes

The three Majingilane male lions have been seen this week. Although ageing, these old males are still fit and healthy, covering huge distances to protect their territory from other coalitions.  f/2.8, 1/3200, ISO 640

lion, lioness, tsalala

The old female from the Tsalala pride as she heads towards to the Sand River. She is trailed by two of the sub-adult cubs. The second adult and one cub have been missing for some time and recently two further cubs have disappeared. Only time will tell what the fate of the pride will be. f/5, 1/640, ISO 1600

With the change of seasons from spring to summer, large swarms of bees break away to establish new hives. A swarm of bees gathers on a branch, collectively protecting the queen. f/6.3, 1/125, ISO 1000

With very high temperatures in the middle of the day, waterholes are often an attractive place for rhinos to gather for a thirst-quenching drink. Its not unusual to see white rhinos gathering at waterholes as this species tend to be more social in this area than their browsing cousins, the black rhino. f/6.3, 1/500, ISO 640

A hippo yawns in an attempt to intimidate a rival. Towards the end of winter, waterholes start drying up and competition between hippos can become intense. With a flash of rain recently, such tension should begin to subside.  f/5.6, 1/800, ISO 800

Hooded vultures have a very unique way of changing their facial skin colour when excited and become a bright pink when picking up scraps of meat around a carcass. f/6.3, 1/640, ISO 640

The iconic call of an African scops owl is often heard on warm, windless, summer nights. Large eyes allow them very acute nocturnal vision. This is the smallest owl found at Londolozi, reaching 16 cm in height and only 65 grams in weight. f/6.3, 1/125, ISO 1600

The Tamboti female stares at an approaching hyena on a rainy afternoon. She was on high alert as her young cub rested meters away from her. f/5.6, 1/125, ISO 1000

10
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.

U
Spotted this leopard?
You've seen this leopard
18 sightings by Members
q

Tamboti 4:3 Female

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

A side-striped jackal soaks up the sun’s first rays on a cool morning before heading to thicker vegetation to rest for the day. f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 800

After chasing off the Mashaba young female leopard, the Inyathini male stares up at a hoisted impala kill on the high branches of a marula tree. With the Piva male’s demise, we are watching with interest as to whether the Flat Rock or Inyathini male will take over this territory. f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 640

9
Inyathini 3:3 Male
2008 - present

Another leopard who originated in the Kruger National Park, he has established a large territory in the south eastern areas of Londolozi.

U
Spotted this leopard?
You've seen this leopard
10 sightings by Members
q

Inyathini 3:3 Male

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

The open grasslands in the south western section of Londolozi provide an ideal habitat for ostriches. Guests and I had the privilege of viewing nine of them in the area, two of which were males. Will we see a new clutch of eggs in the near future? f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 800

Involved Leopards

Nanga 4:3 Female

Nanga 4:3 Female

Spotted this leopard?
You've seen this leopard
Mashaba 3:3 Female

Mashaba 3:3 Female

Spotted this leopard?
You've seen this leopard
Tamboti 4:3 Female

Tamboti 4:3 Female

Spotted this leopard?
You've seen this leopard
Inyathini 3:3 Male

Inyathini 3:3 Male

Spotted this leopard?
You've seen this leopard

About the Author

Alex Jordan

Field Guide

Born in Cape Town, Alex grew up on a family wine estate in Stellenbosch. Spending much of his young life outdoors, Alex went on many a holiday into Southern Africa’s national parks and wild areas. After finishing high school, he completed a number ...

View Alex's profile

19 Comments

on The Week in Pictures #306

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Callum Evans

A really incredeble range of photos and I was particularly happy to see the variety of bird photos. I’ve never a hooded vulture photo as good as that one and I’m very surprised to hear that there are broad-billed rollers nesting on the reserve (definetely not very common that far south). Also love monochrome shots of the lions and the moring shot of the Nanga female. Look forward to seeing more of your photographs

Alex Jordan

Thank you very much Callum

Ramone Lewis

Who are the father of the Tsalala prides sub adults isn’t it the matimbas

Alex Jordan

That is correct Ramone. The remaining cub of the Tsalala breakaway pride is fathered by the Majingilane coalition.

Jazz Doc

Absolutely FABULOUS images and stories. Thanks SO very much.

Michael & Terri Klauber

Alex, Great stream of beautiful images! Great to see both of the Mashaba’s doing so well! When will the “young” Mashaba get her own name? Also amazing to hear that the Majingilane gang is still on patrol!

Alex Jordan

Thank you. We will discuss the naming of the Mashaba young female when she has firmly established her own territory. At the moment she is still fairly young.

Marinda Drake

Great pics this week Alex. Love the rhinos and side striped jackal.

Ian Hall

Great to hear about the ostriches again

Jeff Rodgers

Love the image of the Rhinos. One of them has an exceptionally long ‘second’ horn. Is this unusual?

Bruce Finocchio

Alex, on your comment about the open Piva Male Territory below the Inyathini Male image, you say the Piva and Inyathini males are competing for this open territory. Piva Male cannot compete for his territory since he is deceased. I think you mean the Flat Rock Male instead. 🙂

“With the Piva male’s demise, we are watching with interest as to whether the Piva or Inyathini male will take over this territory.”

Alex Jordan

You are indeed correct Bruce. Apologies for the typo.

A B

Hi, Pardon my ignorance, but in the second last picture it is mentioned that ” With the Piva male’s demise, we are watching with interest as to whether the PIVA or Inyathini male will take over this territory.”
But the Piva male is dead …unless there is more than one ?

James Tyrrell

Thanks AB, it was meant to red “Flat Rock Male”. Corrected forthwith.
Best Regards
James

Denise Vouri

Another great week of photos! I especially love the ending pic of the ostrich- good eye catch. Wish I was there. Enjoy the week to come.

Susan Strauss

Loved seeing the ostrich and hearing they are flourishing. Please write more about status of the Tsalala pride and break away pride…what is the latest? Sounds serious…..

Dipti Dahal

Great photos! When you get a chance can you provide an update post on the Tsalala and the breakaway pride? The two photos of the old female and the breakaway pride cub talk about significant changes to both. Is the core Tsalala pride is with a single female now since the other female seems to have disappeared. Hope tailless is hanging in there..

Mauricia Neeley

I have not seen a story recently of the resident female ostrich. Is this a photo of her? How many chicks survived? Is she still around Londolozi?

Vittorianna Manzari

Thank you. What else? NOWHERE ELSE!

Connect with Londolozi

Follow Us

Sign up for our newsletter

One moment...
+
Add Profile