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

Hemingway’s quote is particularly relevant during this season. Intermittent, localized rains have fallen through many evenings and the mornings are filled with the dawn chorus, the smell of petrichor and a warming atmosphere of what the day brings as we settle into the middle of summer.

The bush has been showcasing some fine game viewing over the last week. Male lions continue to be heard after sunset and seen on all corners of our reserve as we venture out on game drive.
The leopards seen most often this week have been the Inyathini male and Tamboti female. The Ndzanzeni young male has also been viewed regularly around two water holes in the deep southern parts of Londolozi; a bit of a familiar safe haven he spends time in, as he reaches a time of independence. It’s been so lucky for all of us to be able to witness movements and habits of two wild dog packs, both of which are looking fit and healthy and thriving off the bounty of impala lambs this season brings. Elephant herds have been a true highlight of this last week, never have I seen such a vast number of elephants in the area and this was reiterated by many experienced trackers. Around almost every corner is some sort of elephant behaviour to witness. On one particular drive we estimated a herd of over one hundred individuals all spread out and slowly feeding through the Maxabene drainage; it was a hot day and therefore the mud bathing spectacle kept one entertained for hours.
General game sightings of zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and many others have also been incredible. Is this possibly due to the localized rains? Have we received more rains around Londolozi that areas to our far east and therefore animals have moved long distances to capitalize on the fresh, nutritious grasses and sweet protein-rich leaves?

It will be exciting to see further growth of the carpet of greenery around Londolozi as further rains are due to fall. But for now, soak up a few of this week’s highlights and wait for further exciting experiences to come.

Enjoy this Week in Pictures…

Bracket fungus. Its not always the big things with teeth and claws that can draw photographic potential in the bush but other living things with a beautiful natural display of patterns and colours. f.2.8, 1/1250, ISO 800

The Inyathini male leopard on morning patrol after a rain-filled evening. Leopards are most often seen close to game paths or roads after recent showers as they are re-scent marking prominent features. Their scent is reduced after rain and therefore requires further marking. f.6.3, 1/500, ISO 1600

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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Inyathini 3:3 Male

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

A close up on an independent eye. A flap-necked chameleon opens its mouth to cool itself down on a very hot summer’s day. f.2.8, 1/500, ISO 500

We have been lucky to see two different packs of wild dogs around Londolozi over the last week. A dog is distracted by a terrapin in a nearby water hole. f.5.6, 1/250, ISO 800

An elephant maximizes on the excellent grazing potential after summer rains. The trunk of an elephant is most similar to our tongues and has over 50000 muscles, more than 50 times the total number of muscles in our entire body. f.5, 1/800, ISO 800

Trunks and tusks wrapped around one another. I believe elephants are far smarter than we think and possess  untold emotional intelligence. f.6.3, 1/400, ISO 640, +1.0 EV

A large elephant cow trails her herd through an open clearing. Elephants have been so plentiful this last week, and have provided excellent viewing and interaction. f/5, 1/2500, ISO 640, +0.3 EV

Summer is full of life and its not uncommon to see birds with new hatchlings, as with these Egyptian Geese. Spending time in water can be a high risk as the potential for predation by birds of prey and crocodiles is increased. f.5.6, 1/4000, ISO 640

A single elephant can often be dwarfed by the vastness of open grass plains. The new grass shoots are very nutritious and one may often see elephants feeding on grass more than leaves at this time of year. f. 5.6, 1/1250, ISO 640, +1.0EV

Early morning rays provided unbelievable light and water reflections. A white-faced whistling duck enjoys the warm sun rays in its aquatic environment. f. 6.3, 1/4000, ISO 800

The Ndzanzeni young male approaches our vehicle near a waterhole in the deep south east of Londolozi. He has been frequenting this water hole and must feel safety in this area, as it is central in his mother’s territory. f.6.3, 1/640, ISO 640

This female is a success story all in herself, being born as a single cub to the Dudley Riverbank female in early 2012.

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Ndzanzeni 4:3 Female

Lineage
Mother Leopard
Identification
markings
Timeline
17 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist

Black and white stripes. A newly born zebra foal stares back with an inquisitive look. Are we possibly the first humans it has seen? f. 5.6, 1/1600, ISO 800

Ranger, James Souchon and guests enjoy an afternoon of being surrounded by elephants as they slowly feed on the move. f. 5.6, 1/400, ISO 640

A full moon hangs dim in the night sky yet lights up the surrounding landscape. Clear night skies are hard to come by in summer as thunderstorms and rain clouds frequently roll in. f. 6.3, 1/640. ISO 100

Beautiful evening rays side-light a lone buffalo bull as it strolls across the ankle deep water of the causeway. f. 6.3, 1/1250, ISO 800, +0.7EV

A burrowing scorpion emerges from its hole in search of the new termite alates that have emerged after the rains. Many animals from insects to birds have been maximizing the feeding potential to be found in the protein rich, winged insects of summer. f. 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 800, +0.7EV

An eye of a prehistoric predator, the Nile crocodile. With the Sand River rising, crocodiles have been waiting downstream of the Causeway in the hope of small fish being pushed by the water pressure towards their snapping jaws. f. 6.3, 1/640, ISO 640, +0.7EV

An Ntsevu lioness quenches her thirst at a water-filled pan on a hot morning before heading towards the Sand River to cool down during the worst of the heat. f.6.3, 1/4000, ISO 800

A carmine bee-eater making the most of the abundance of insects that summer has to offer. Flocks of these beautiful birds are often seen around termite mounds, snatching up the emerging winged alates. f. 6.3, 1/4000, ISO 800

Alert and tuned into the sounds around her, the Tamboti female leopard’s cub follows her mother on an early summer’s morning. f. 5.6, 1/1250, ISO 800

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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23 sightings by Members
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Tamboti 4:3 Female

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

Involved Leopards

Inyathini 3:3 Male

Inyathini 3:3 Male

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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 ...

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18 Comments

on The Week in Pictures #317

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Marinda Drake

Stunning pics this week Alex. Can hardly choose a favourite they are all fantastic. Tambotie cub, Ntsevu lioness, the Wilddog all lovely. The best must be the elephant tusks and trunks.

Mike Ryan

Thanks for the amazing memories top man Alex

Samantha Molina

love the chameleon…..we need to spot one for Max on our next visit

Mary Beth Wheeler

Some really lovely images, Alex. The soft fur of the zebra foal felt ‘touchable’ and even the old buffalo bull was splendid in the golden light. Thank you…

Lucie Easley

Thank you, Alex, for so many striking photographs of well documented life in Londolozi, as well as a few we don’t see as often. I have to say the “eyes” have it as far as I’m concerned today. I am drawn to the photo of the young zebra and the elephant trunk in the grass, however, the amazing close up of the chameleon just jumps off the page. I love starting all my days in Londolozi via my computer. Thank you.

Betty-Lou Luijken

I completely agree about how smart elephants are. I even think humans underestimate most animals about their intelligence and their feelings. We tend to think things do not exist if we can’t see or understand them.

Andrea Mc Donagh

Fantastic images…very enjoyable viewing.

Jennifer Ridgewell

Great photos Alex and the Hemingway quote says it all! Particularly loved the Buff in golden light with beautiful texture of boss against the body and not such an agressive full-on pose as we often see in Buff photos. The Tamboti cub on alert is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Ian Hall

Some real crackerjack photos there, I love some of the leopard photos, but the picture of the week has got to be the croc.

Wendy Hawkins

Beautiful Alex, especially the fungus, the close up of the Chameleon & the Croc eye! Thank you, all the pictures are stunning! Have a great weekend

D. Phillips

Absolutely amazing. Especially liked the Ellie trunk. The white faced whistling duck took my breath away. Thank you so much for sharing. I don’t tell you enough how beautiful it is to see these wonders from half a world away.

Michael & Terri Klauber

Alex, Wow, what an incredible set of images! We especially love the super close-ups! Pretty scary to get that close to the scorpion!

Denise Vouri

Alex, beautiful photos this week. Especially like the leopards and the Zebra. The camera settings are also an educational and useful piece of information.

Cheers to a great weekend if sightings and fun!!

Joanne Wadsworth

How wonderful it must be seeing Londolozi burst with activity during the rains. I’m so happy to hear that more elephants have been sighted and that there is much to see on a drive. This week’s pictures are all exquisite and unique in their own way. Everyone seems to have a favorite (as I do), but to me all the photo’s show the wonderful diversity at Londolozi. Thanks Alex for a great blog post!!

Nicki Ryan

I feel so privileged to have shared some of these sightings with yourself and my family. Simply stunning pictures – you are a true inspiration Greg (sorry….Alex!! I’ll get it right next time!). Love the chameleon – will have to try to get that shot on our next visit. Keep the pics coming.

Kathryn Flanagan

Hi Alex such amazing pics, thanks for sharing them! It was a real privilege being with you and Euce and experiencing some of these sightings together. All good wishes

Callum Evans

Incredible set of pictures!!! One thing I did miss in Botswana were these weekly posts, they just keep the bushveld fire in inside me burning continuously!

Callum Evans

That chameleon close-up and the last elephant and white-faced duck profiles were particularly impressive

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