It has been cold. The coldest morning this year in fact was recorded this very morning at 4.6 degrees Celsius. I know that for some of you from the colder regions of the world that temperature is nothing but when you are out before sunrise on the back of an open Land Rover searching for animals you definitely want to be wrapped up from head to toe, especially when the wind chill is lowering that temperature to below freezing! Luckily, with sightings that we have experienced this last week the cold becomes the last thing on your mind.

The coalition of the four Birmingham Male lions and the six Ntsevu lionesses continue to enthral us. This week they have been seen on regular occasions across the central parts of the reserve. They are not always all together and there has still been regular mating activity between some of the individuals. We are hoping that some of the females give birth soon and ponder the fate of the cubs that we know some of the other females have had but we are yet to see.

The Tamboti female and her daughter are still one of the more sought after sightings on Londolozi at the moment. We were lucky enough to sit with them for an entire morning as they chased and played with each other non-stop.

The Nkoveni female is busy raising a single six-week-old cub and is often seen hunting in the vicinity of her den site. Her cub has not been seen as much but we are hoping in the next few weeks she will start moving it away from the den and taking it to the kills she has made.

For now, enjoy this Week in Pictures..

178a9306

A close-up view of the interesting looking Southern Red-Billed Hornbill and its impressive beak. This is a male, identified by the black on the lower mandible. Together with the Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill, these are two species of bird that you are most likely to encounter on your game drives through Londolozi. 1/1600 at f/7,1; ISO 320

178a9225

The African Harrier-Hawk has quite an interesting method of searching for food. We spent a couple of minutes watching this individual stick its head into holes and crevices in this tree and peel bark away with its beak as it searched for any invertebrates, insects or nestlings to prey on. 1/200 at f/5,6; ISO 100

178a9168

The Tamboti Female pauses for awhile on top of a termite mound as she spent the morning hunting through the central parts of her territory. Her cub is well over a year old now, and will likely be approaching independence. 1/640 at f/5,6; ISO 100

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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30 sightings by Members
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Tamboti 4:3 Female

Lineage
Sunsetbend
Identification
markings
Timeline
49 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
1 known
Litters
3 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist
178a9074

We have had regular sightings of the four Birmingham males and there is a still been a fair amount of mating between this coalition and the lionesses of the Ntsevu Pride. On this particular morning this male was seen trailing behind two lionesses. 1/6400 at f/5,0; ISO 1250

178a9126

A very distressed and alert herd of Impala look in the direction of the Nkoveni female who had just managed to catch one of them after a very patient wait. With a 6-week-old cub to feed it was a crucial meal for her. 1/640 at f/5,6; ISO 2000

178a9133

After watching a herd of impala slowly move closer towards her for the better part of an hour the Nkoveni Female eventually made her move from the dense thicket she was hiding in and ambushed this ewe, which was probably significantly heavier than her. 1/320 at f/5,6; ISO 2000

6
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.

U
Spotted this leopard?
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34 sightings by Members
q

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

Lineage
Sunsetbend
Identification
markings
Timeline
59 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist
178a9062

Two Ntsevu lionesses engage in a bit of play-fighting one morning in the south eastern parts of the the reserve. Some of these females have cubs, however we are yet to have any stable sightings of the litter(s). 1/3200 at f/5,0; ISO 2000

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A lone Birmingham male listens intently to the sounds of the night. His brothers were not too far away and we heard him roaring a couple of times before heading off to go and find them. 1/100 at f/5,6; ISO 2000

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When driving along the river one always needs a sharp eye to spot the beautifully coloured Malachite Kingfisher. They will sit for hours in the same place waiting to spot a small fish under the surface of the water for them to catch. 1/3200 at f/5,6; ISO 1250

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Arguably one of the most exciting pair of leopards to find on Londolozi at the moment, the Tamboti female and her daughter often play for hours together and this morning was no exception. They used this dead fallen over tree as a jungle gym and the youngster proceeded to jump over her mother a few times as she rested. 1/1600 at F/5,O; ISO 1000

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Often the only view of a Dwarf Mongoose is fleeting. They usually run for cover as soon as they are detected but if you wait for a few minutes at a comfortable distance outside a termite mound that they call home they will eventually pop their heads up out of their safe refuge. 1/3200 at f/5,6; ISO 4000

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It’s only at about 3 months old when an elephant starts to grasp exactly how to use its trunk. Before that time when it comes to drinking they have to stick their mouth into the water and lap it up like most other animals do. It does make for a somewhat comical sight though. 1/1250 at f/5,0; ISO 1250

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I made an attempt at using the panning technique with photography to try and capture this impala ram chasing another as rutting season is in full swing. The idea with panning is to try and get your subject’s head in focus while the rest of the image is blurred to show motion. It can be quite a tricky technique to master but with all the chasing of one another that Impalas have been up to they have been great subjects to practice on. 1/60 at f/8; ISO 2000

Involved Leopards

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

Nkoveni 2:2 Female

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Tamboti 4:3 Female

Tamboti 4:3 Female

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About the Author

James Souchon

Field Guide

James started his guiding career at the world-renowned Phinda Game Reserve, spending four years learning about and showing guests the wonder of the incredibly rich biodiversity that the Maputaland area of South Africa has to offer. Having always wanted to guide in the ...

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23 Comments

on The Week in Pictures #338

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Marinda Drake

Stunning pics this week James. Love the baby elephant and Malachite kingfisher.

James Souchon

Thanks Marinda, glad you enjoyed them!

Dawn Phillips

Treasures!

James Souchon

So true!

Darlene Knott

Great week in review! The pictures are awesome! If you figure out panning, please let me know. That technique seems like it should be easy, but it is not!! Thanks for the photos!

James Souchon

Hi Darlene, I think the trick is lots of practice and a little bit of luck. I still have not mastered the technique and still trying to take a pic that I am 100% happy with. Its still lots of fun to play around with. Good luck!

Judy Hayden

Beautiful pictures. I loved your story today. All sorts of happy activity going on. I can not wait to hear more about the lion and leopard cubs. Just to let you know, we are hot hot hot over here where I live. Heat index over 100 with a nice breeze that gives you the help you need to keep kind of comfortable. Can’t wait to hear from you again. Thank you

James Souchon

Hi Judy, so happy to hear you enjoyed reading. Thanks for the message. We will be sure to keep you posted on any developments about lion or leopard cubs.

Wendy Macnicol

Enjoyed the African Harrier Hawk pic and have taken it to be a screensaver! Have also taken the Malachite Kingfisher. Thank you James! Wendy M

James Souchon

Hi Wendy, I am glad you enjoy the photos so much that you use them as screensavers. Its an awesome thought. We will keep them coming!

Denise Vouri

A wonderful compilation of photos this week James. Really appreciate the camera settings. I feel I’m shooting along with you!! Even though I’m not much of a birder, I really appreciate your images. Love the leopard with her freshly killed ewe, taking complete ownership!!

James Souchon

Hi Denise, its a pleasure for the settings and hopefully they can help you take some great photos yourself.

Joanne Wadsworth

One is never disappointed with the weekly images and this week was exceptional. Thanks James. I loved hearing how the Tamboti female plays with her nearly grown cub for hours on end. It’s heartwarming to know the deep bond the females have with their off-spring other than feeding and teaching them to hunt. I would like to be in the rover watching the fun. Then of course there’s the baby Ellie. What’s not to love. Although I was unaware that it took up to 3 months to master their trunk for drinking water! Thanks again, James.

James Souchon

Hi Joanne, it truly is an amazing thing to watch the two of them play and chase each other. I also think baby elephants have to be the most amusing animals to watch move around. Glad you enjoyed the photos!

Michael & Terri Klauber

Great shots James! Hoping to focus on the birds when we visit next time. Kingfisher looks amazing!

James Souchon

Hi Michael and Terri, the causeway crossing the sandriver is always a fantastic spot for birds. Hope you are both well and that we can see you back here soon!

Elizabeth Biscuso

Thank you so much for these amazing stories and observations. Would love to be there…

James Souchon

Hi Elizabeth, its our pleasure! Glad you enjoy reading them and looking at the photos and videos.

Judith Guffey

Wishing we could celebrate a wedding anniversary at Londolozi. Married in Evander SA July 1981. 4.6C. 😳 I need to be there in the summer!

James Souchon

Hi Judy, it would be a great celebration!

Callum Evans

Love the photo of the Tamboti Female and her cub!

James Souchon

Glad you enjoyed it Callum!

Callum Evans

The Week in Pictures never disappoints, you guys all take the most amazing photographs!

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