The first Week in Pictures for 2018… What a treat! The infamous New Years Eve party was a good attempt at keeping some of us from getting up early, but it did not stop the animals from continuing with their daily routine… And what a stunner of a day the 1st of January 2018 was. The large storm on the final day of 2017 washed away everything that needed to be, and provided a fresh canvas for us to begin the new year. Literally… The tracks were clear as anything on the dirt roads out in the bush; the birds were singing; and the skies were blue.

Speaking of new beginnings, the four Birmingham male lions have continued to patrol through large tracts of land, venturing further south and further west, well into the territory of other male coalitions. It’s a matter of time before the current dominant male lions (such as the Majingilane) in these areas encounter the new arrivals. Wild dogs have been providing some entertainment, with two packs being found simultaneously on one morning, both of which flushed out and treed a leopard in different areas! The Tsalala pride has been seen along the river on a number of occasions, but still seems unsure of whether they should rejoin as a pride or not, with the older tailed Tsalala lioness frequently being seen alone.

Here’s to a wonderful year of TWIPs.

Enjoy this Week in Pictures…

Zebra, sunset, clouds, colours, PT, 2018

One of the last, stormy evenings of 2017. A zebra walks past as the sun pops out from behind the clouds. f4,5, 1/500s, ISO800.

Male lion, birmingham, PT 2018

A Birmingham male lion gazes in our direction as the morning light catches his face. This coalition of four brothers is being viewed more and more often on Londolozi, making for some exciting game drives. Expect to see a lot more of them in 2018… f6,3, 1/2000. ISO500.

Male lion, birmingham, side light, spotlight, night, PT 2018

Another sighting of a Birmingham male. This individual was calling continuously all evening. One of his brothers was found at the same time on the opposite end of the reserve, also calling. They met up over night, travelling several miles together. f4,5, 1/250, ISO1600.

Lilac breasted roller, portrait, PT 2018

It never gets old… The beautiful lilac breasted roller. Normally they fly away before you manage to lift your camera. This particular individual was so hot that it wanted to stay in the shade. Notice how its wings are slightly ajar, allowing the breeze to pass over its chest. f5,0, 1/5000s, ISO800.

Hippo, yawn, tusks, PT, 2018

A rather large hippo bull yawns, revealing its massive tusks in a threat display towards us. This individual put on quite an elaborate performance, throwing its head right back and then rolling right over onto its back. f5,6, 1/320s, ISO640.

Tamboti female, leopard, eyes, stare, PT 2018

The Tamboti female leopard walking straight toward the vehicle while on a territorial patrol. Leopards have to mark their territory a bit more frequently than normal during the wet season as their scent is washed away by rain on a regular basis. f4,5, 1/160s, ISO1250.

11
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
47 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
1 known
Litters
3 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist
Elephant, smell, trunk, PT, 2018

An elephant walks with its trunk held high. This elephant was hurriedly approaching a waterhole with the rest of its herd, all of which held their trunks raised into the air when they got scent of the fresh water. f4,5, 1/2500, ISO800.

Inyathini male, mashaba young female, mating, dismount, jump, PT 2017

The Inyathini male leopard jumps into the air to avoid being caught by the sharp claws of the Mashaba young female. This pair was found mating for several days,, travelling great distances side by side this week. Maybe 2018 will be the year for the Mashaba young female to have her first litter of cubs. f5,0, 1/500s, ISO800.

10
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.

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13 sightings by Members
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Inyathini 3:3 Male

Lineage
Unknown
Identification
markings
Timeline
23 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
0 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist
3
Ximungwe 5:3 Female
2015 - present

Having been viewed by vehicles from an early age, this leopard is supremely relaxed around Land Rovers.

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24 sightings by Members
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Ximungwe 5:3 Female

Lineage
Sunsetbend
Identification
markings
Timeline
30 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
1 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist
Rhino, drinking, waterhole, PT, 2018

A crash of four rhino quench their thirst just before sunset. f5,0, 1/40s, ISO1000.

Wild dog, staring, PT 2017

We bumped into a pack of nine wild dogs near the river early one morning. It seemed as though they had eaten already as one dog had an impala leg in its mouth, while some others were covered in blood. However, they soon set off again, trying to flush antelope out of the thickets. Out of nowhere, they flushed a female leopard out who promptly ran up the closest tree! f5,0, 1/640, ISO800.

Leopard, nhlanguleni female, thicket, PT 2017

The Nhlanguleni female sleeps in a thicket shortly after being treed by the pack of wild dogs from the previous image. We were happy to see that she still has suckle marks, indicating that her cub, which has only been seen once, is most likely still alive! f5,6, 1/1000s, ISO800.

Born to the Tutlwa female in early-mid 2011, the Nhlanguleni female spent her formative months (and years) in and around the Sand River.

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11 sightings by Members
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Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

Lineage
Sunsetbend
Identification
markings
Timeline
24 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
2 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist
Martial eagle, kill, monitor lizard, leadwood tree, black and white, PT, 2018

A martial eagle feeds off a monitor lizard. These huge birds are renowned for killing these massive lizards. This individual watched us carefully before it continued to feed. f5,6, 1/2000, ISO800.

Egyptian goose, geese, goslings, PT 2017

An Egyptian goose drinks water from a waterhole while its goslings do the same. Egyptian geese will have as many as 20 goslings, many of which fall victim to predation, with only a handful reaching adulthood. f5,6, 1/500s, ISO800.

Wildebeest, calf, PT 2018

A young wildebeest calf walks toward its mother before attempting to nurse. Note how the umbilical cord is still attached, indicating that it is only a few weeks of age, if that. Just like impala, wildebeest have a set breeding season whereby calves are born soon after the first summer rains. This allows the youngsters to feed off all the fresh grass shoots, and the simultaneous birthing means the predators are not able to eat all the calves; some at least will make it through to the next season. f5,6, 1/1000s, ISO800.

Tamboti female leopard, eyes, view, portrait, PT, 2018

A stare from the Tamboti female as she sits on top of a termite mound scanning the landscape… f5,6, 1/500s, ISO800.

Zebra, foal, black and white, PT, 2017

A new year is for new beginnings! This small zebra foal would not leave its mother’s side. The backlighting provided for a great black and white photo opportunity, illuminating the manes of the zebras. f5,0, 1/2500, ISO400.

Involved Leopards

Tamboti 4:3 Female

Tamboti 4:3 Female

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Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

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Inyathini 3:3 Male

Inyathini 3:3 Male

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Ximungwe 5:3 Female

Ximungwe 5:3 Female

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About the Author

Pete Thorpe

Field Guide

Right from his very first bush trip at the age of four, Pete was always enthralled by this environment. Having grown up in the Middle East, Pete’s home-away-from-home has always been a bungalow in the Greater Kruger National Park, where his family had ...

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10 Comments

on The Week in Pictures #316

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Marinda Drake

Great pics this week Pete. Love the zebra against the setting sun. Lovely to see the wildebeest babies. Nice pics of the zebra foal and Tambotie female.

Irene Henkes

Hi, interesting pics! Just some questions……….
– when do baby wildebeest start eating grasses?
– here in Europe, the Egyptian goose is going rampant. Probably let loose by some idiot and there are not enough natural enemies here. Who eats them at your end of the world?
– I love the four rhinos. A family group, you think?

Love, Irene

Pete Thorpe

Hi Irene,

– Wildebeest calves being to graze at roughly four weeks of age.
– Egyptian geese can fall victim to many different predators out in the bush. To list a few: leopard, jackals, genets, large eagles, certain snakes. They seem to thrive in semi-rural environments – I have seen huge populations of them in the winelands around Stellenbosch, outside Cape Town.
– The four rhinos were not necessarily all related. White rhinos often form small groups consisting of a cow and her most recent calf, sometimes accompanied by an older, unrelated calf from another cow.

Denise Vouri

Beautiful leopard portraits this week. The intensity in the eyes is what photographers strive to capture. Appreciate the camera settings – always good as a teaching/learning tool.

Lucie Easley

I am never disappointed in the pictures posted each day. I’m glad to see so many pictures of the little ones as they stay by their moms for protection and nourishment. The black and white of the Tamboti female just jumps out as amazing. She is such a beautiful girl. Thanks for the great shots.

Deana Amendolia

Great TWIP Pete! The picture of the Tamboti coming straight at you is awesome. Any updates on the Tsalala’s? We hope to see you when we are back in October. Happy New Year!

Pete Thorpe

Hi Deana! Thanks for the comment. The Tsalala pride is still unstable with some sightings of all three adults together with tailess’ cub, and other sightings of the older tailed lioness roaming around alone or with the one remaining sub-adult Tsalala lioness. This sub-adult does not seem to be associating with the whole unit though, and is mostly seen alone on the odd occasion. I suppose only time will tell what the future holds for the Tsalala Pride!

Judith Guffey

I watched her in Dec. 2017. Beautful animal .

Joanne Wadsworth

So enjoy the birthing season and the exceptional images of the little ones. Also it was good to see and hear updates on my very favorite leopard, Mashaba 5:3, who I’ve been following. That was a playful picture of her.

Michael & Terri Klauber

Pete, Thanks for a great WIP! We are very excited to see Mashaba’s daughter grow and how exciting to imagine the possibility of her having her first cubs! Fingers crossed!

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