Mike Beder and Arlene Bonin have stayed with the Londolozi family many times over the last fourteen years. They have just finished their most recent trip at the end of September and in chatting to Mike over a glass of Luddite Shiraz in the Varty Boma, he commented on how every time that they have come to Londolozi the bush has presented them with a specific animal and then rewarded their patience with truly memorable and special sightings. For this particular trip it has been snakes as Mike and Arlene have witnessed two different pythons including the Vomba Female Leopard attacking an exceptionally large African Rock Python.
Despite the emphasis that the bush has placed around snakes on this occasion, their video camera has also captured some remarkable footage of four different prides of lions, large breeding herds of elephants, early spring vistas as well as a male leopard defending a kill from his two hungry offspring. Apart from these sightings, a late evening star talk and a lazy afternoon picnic, there was one other event that stuck out for them as a highlight.
You might have seen the video (bit.ly/CdmJP) of one of the young Mxabene male leopard capturing and hoisting a young duiker up a Marula tree before letting it drop and watching as its mother picked up the still living prey, waiting for the young leopard to come down and learn how to kill it. That same 10 month old male continued along his passage of learning this last week as he attempted to eat from a kill his mother had made and hoisted in a tree. Leopards will often hoist prey in trees as a means of avoiding other predators from stealing it. Owing to the incredibly arboreal nature of leopards, they function very effectively on the ground as well as in trees.
Mike and Arlene caught the following footage of the young male right before he attempted to climb up the tree and feed his already bulging stomach. Despite the size of the sub-adult leopard, his immaturity is still evident in his lack of confidence. Young leopards generally spend a period of between 18 – 24 months with their mother before finding their own territory. This period is crucial in learning how to operate and exist effectively as an independent, solitary animal. The learning curve is however, sometimes, a little harsh…
A very big thank you goes out to Mike and Arlene for sharing their incredible wildlife footage with us. We always enjoy having you to stay with the Londolozi Family.
Filmed by: Arlene Bonin & Mike Beder (Londolozi Guests)
Photography: Rich Laburn & Gav Lautenbach
Written by: Rich Laburn