Having been an avid follower of The Week in Pictures myself prior to joining Londolozi, it is always a privilege to share some of my own experiences from this little paradise now that I can proudly call this my home.
This week I draw inspiration from a few different areas: i) Bruce Arnott’s display of achievements with his fixed 400mm lens from last week; ii) Callum Evans’ account as to how the blog continues to bring him inspiration on a daily basis (something to which I can relate) and iii) Alex Jordan’s black and white photo feature, which influenced my editing this week.

For me, this week has been one for the sunrises. As the sun is rising later each day, we are currently lucky enough to be out on morning game drive when the sun starts to break above the horizon. This has provided for some breathtaking moments out there, and has also provided some fantastic golden light for capturing the special sightings that we have been exposed to this week.

Following on from last week, the lions have not ceased to disappoint. The Birmingham males have been seen a number of times, still associating with the Ntsevu lionesses. The remaining three lions of the Tsalala pride were seen hunting near to camp more than once. Elephants have been plentiful as they are drawn to the fruiting marula trees. Leopard sightings have continued to please, with one notable occasion being when the Tamboti female happened across the Ximungwe female (previously known as the Mashaba young female – look out for a feature on her next week) resulting in a tremendous fight that left both leopards slightly scratched up.

Without further ado, let us let nature do the talking.

Enjoy this Week in Pictures…

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The full moon came and went in the last week. Here a pair of Wahlberg’s eagles was perched in a dead tree providing the perfect opportunity to capture not only the waxing moon, but also a pale and dark morph of the same eagle. f5,6; 1/500s; ISO800.

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This bull hippo was seen wandering around the edge of this waterhole for an extended period. We hypothesise that he may be new to the waterhole and was hesitant to climb straight in with the rest of the pod, in fear of having an aggressive reception from another bull or from the mothers with their calves. f5,6; 1/80s; ISO800.

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A Birmingham male lion looks on in the direction he is intending on moving. A spotlight cast a shadow on one side of his face, while perfectly illuminating his eye and part of his mane, creating quite a mysterious feel about this image. Feeding off the black and white feature recently posted, this image tends to work better without colour as it enhances the feeling of unknown. f5,6; 1/80s; ISO2000.

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The newly named Ximungwe female pauses her grooming for a moment to listen out for any other animals that may have been attracted to the scent of a kill that she had hoisted in the tree above her. The open branch that she was lying on, along with soft lighting from a slight angle, enabled for this image to be captured, with very minimal editing needed. There are no distractions drawing one away from her beautiful face. f5,6; 1/100s; ISO1600.

3
Ximungwe 5:3 Female
2015 - present

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

U
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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
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Another moment where a bird was perfectly positioned with the moon behind. A black-shouldered kite sits perched on a dead tree looking out for potential prey, such as mice, as the now waning moon slowly descends towards the horizon. f5,6; 1/8000s; ISO800.

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We encountered the Tsalala pride lying in the middle of the road on the way home late one morning. In true Tsalala pride style, they were hunting in the full sun. Here the Tailess lioness is pictured with her one-year-old male cub, who will learn invaluable lessons from following and watching in on the hunts that his mother undergoes. f5,6; 1/1000s; ISO200.

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From the same sighting as above, the younger Tsalala lioness is seen casting her attention towards some impala moving in the thicket several hundred metres away. We soon lost view of them as they headed straight into thick bush. We waited on the other side of the thicket hoping to see them come out where the herd of impala was feeding, but after about 40 minutes decided to go and satisfy our own hunger. That same afternoon the pride was found a good distance away, indicating that they must have had an unsuccessful hunt and moved on to try a new area. f5,6; 1/500s; ISO200.

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A few of us decided to go out on a clear evening before the moon rose this week to play with star photography. This dead Brown Ivory tree provided the perfect subject to be lit up with an LED torch, giving the image a subject in the foreground to compliment the breathtaking milky way in the background. A collaborative effort, mostly by Alex Jordan who was helping us out here. I can only claim responsibility for pushing the trigger button, thanks Alex for shining the torch and sharing your settings. A wide angle lens (18mm in this case) with a wide aperture is essential here. f1,8; 20s; ISO1600.

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You never know what is around each corner out here. Tracker Bennet Mathonsi stopped me as he had spotted two sets of leopard tracks along the road. Upon further investigation he worked out that it was a mother and cub that had been walking alongside each other. He pointed out where they had lain down and where they had been playing. One’s imagination begins to reinvent the scene once the evidence has been pointed out. We walked together to see where the tracks cut off the road as they were quite fresh. While Bennet was looking towards the road ahead, I cast my glance sideways, only to have my heart stop. A leopard was not more than five metres from us, trying to hide in a bush, but failed to do so as its whole tail was sticking out in the open. We pretended not to see it and hurriedly went back to the safety of the vehicle, from where we enjoyed a phenomenal sighting of the Ingrid dam female’s cub. She soon came out of hiding once we were back in the vehicle. f5,6; 1/200s; ISO400.

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The Ingrid Dam female’s cub, from the same sighting as above. A simple switch to black and white draws ones attention away from the grass and straight towards the striking eyes of this young leopardess. f5,6; 1/320s; ISO400.

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She is occasionally seen around the far north west corner of Londolozi, and is generally quite relaxed around vehicles.

U
Spotted this leopard?
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5 sightings by Members
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Ingrid Dam 4:4 Female

Lineage
Unknown
Identification
markings
Timeline
9 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
0 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist
Mg 9314edited

On our last evening drive together, my guests and I were fortunate enough to follow a pack of wild dogs through thick bush as they split up on a hunt. At one point we were forced to give up our chase and take a long loop around a deep drainage line, as the vehicles were not able to drive through where the dogs had run. Luckily enough they came out on the other side, and promptly climbed into this small wallow of water where they drank and swam, cooling off from the heat of the day. f5,0; 1/320s; ISO1000.

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The next three images were all taken on the same morning as the sun rose higher and higher. A small herd of wildebeest was silhouetted against the rising sun as they descended down from the open crest where they had spent the night. Golden moments like this are what make each day special out here. f5,6; 1/5000s; ISO800.

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A male waterbuck heads towards a group of females nearby, as the sun starts breaking the line of the horizon. Waterbuck are typically seen in small groups close to water, normally with one adult male that dominates a group of females. f5,0; 1/200s; ISO800.

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Up on a crest, now with the sun a bit higher in the sky, the shade of the marula trees let through just enough light to illuminate the impressive mane of this bull kudu. The light was still low enough to provide a hazy look to the bush in the distance, adding great mood to the scene. Definitely worth the early wake-up call if you ask me! f5,6; 1/400s; ISO800.

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A very full Birmingham male lion pants heavily as he digests the meal he has just eaten. Three male lions and four lionesses were fighting over the remains of a waterbuck kill when we arrived. The sounds coming from these animals as they fought amongst themselves was incredible. One can see the scars on the nose and below the eye of this male from this and previous aggressive interactions. f5,0; 1/320s; ISO400.

Involved Leopards

Ximungwe 5:3 Female

Ximungwe 5:3 Female

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Ingrid Dam 4:4 Female

Ingrid Dam 4:4 Female

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You've seen this leopard

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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23 Comments

on The Week in Pictures #325

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Marinda Drake

Awesome pics Pete. Love the birds with the full moon and the last one of the Birmingham male. Looking forward to the feature of the Mashaba young female. Is the younger Tsalala the one that was born to the tailed Tsalala that passed away recently. It was a few years ago or is it a newer female? It is quite sad that there are only three left of the pride.

Pete Thorpe

Hi Marinda,

Thanks for your comment! Yes, the lioness I refer to is the daughter of the tailed lioness that recently passed away. She was born in 2013 along with the three Tsalala males that are now nomadic.

Marinda Drake

Pete if I look again at your photos all that is left of the pride is the Tailless, the young female and a very young male. I read the older blogs now and see that the daughter of the tailed lioness that was always chased by the Magingilane was born in 2011. Is she still alive?

Darlene Knott

I love all the photos of the animals, but really found the star photography fascinating. Thanks for sharing, Pete.

Pete Thorpe

It’s always great to receive positive feedback, thanks Darlene.

John Marlatt

Hi Pete,
Excellent pictures. Peggy and I remember them well. We again thank you and Ben for the best of experiences…

Pete Thorpe

It was a pleasure having you two, John! We hope to see you both again soon, maybe for another night around the fire?

Denise Vouri

Wonderful photos Pete. I look forward to this feature every week as the variety of images is intoxicating. I so love Africa and all of its inhabitants, that the daily blog is a bit of a safari substitute since I can’t travel there every year. I appreciate your including the camera settings as it’s a great learning tool. I’m fascinated by the back stories of the lion and leopard families. I’ll stay tuned!

Pete Thorpe

Thank you, Denise! I too once longed for the daily blog as my safari substitute. I’m glad it brings you a touch of joy each week. The lion and leopard never cease to amaze us out here.

Michael Kalm

Thanks for the setting on that great Milky Way picture, Pete! Loved the others as well.

Pete Thorpe

Pleasure, Michael.

Peggy Fox

Hi Peter! Great shots and great memories. Yes, the roaring of the lions will never be forgotten. I look forward another visit, and meanwhile, I’ll make do with the blog….

Pete Thorpe

Hi Peggy!

Great to hear from you and John. I’m sure you recognise most of the images from the sightings we shared together. What a way to end off with those roaring lions! Hope to see you both back here again soon.

Betty-Lou Luijken

Great images! I especially like the black and white night images of the lion and the leopard. They fit their lifestyle.

Pete Thorpe

Hi Betty-Lou,

Thanks for your input! I do agree with you with regards to the black and white images. Sometimes a simple switch away from colour can make an image so much more emotional.

Wendy Hawkins

They are all stunning Pete, but I really the love the night sky & well done to you both for getting the tree to look so lovely 🙂 Thank you & have a great weekend further & week ahead!

Pete Thorpe

Thank you, Wendy! We recently played around with some more night sky images so keep a look out for more. You have a great week too.

Mary Beth Wheeler

Some awesome images, Pete! The male kudu in the golden light is stunning. Thanks!

Pete Thorpe

Thank you, Mary Beth. Glad you enjoyed the images!

Callum Evans

I love the cover photo and the shot of the Ingrid Dam’s Cub on the road, not to mention that stunning waterbuck!! And thanks so much for mentioning my blog in the intro, really means a lot to me! I’m also glad that my blog is having a small impact and is inspiring people!

Pete Thorpe

Howzit Callum,

I’m glad you enjoyed the images. I see on instagram you are taking some epic shots yourself. Keep it up and hopefully we will have you out here one day, snapping some shots of the animals you read about on the blog!

Jenny Clover

A visual feast, thanks Pete! Always on the look out for your posts.

Pete Thorpe

Hi Jenny!

What a wonderful surprise to hear from you. I’m glad you have been following the posts. I hope to see you up this side of the country sometime soon. All the best.

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