It has been quite a wet week at Londolozi. The Sand River has been flowing strongly and tracking has been difficult, as footprints in the sand are erased by the rain shortly after they are made. Photography has also been tricky, as wet weather makes one disinclined to bring one’s camera out for fear of water damage. Nevertheless, the animals are still there, and through occasional breaks in the clouds have come some great moments. Enjoy this latest week in pictures.
A crocodile peers over the remains of a Wildebeest carcass in Vomba Dam. Bloated and rotten, the insides had by this stage been almost totally consumed by this apex predator of the Londolozi waterways.
One of the Sparta cubs peers at the vehicles over his own reflection. Shortly after this shot was taken, the pride retreated into a dense acacia thicket, out of the hot sun, only to be chased out an hour or so later by some buffalo bulls who had come to lie in the nearby mud wallows.
Two of the Sparta cubs wrestle each other in the same sighting as the previous photo. The grass covering the reflection of their faces detracts from the image slightly, but the short where the cubs are and its rich green colour gives it a nice vibrance.
Conditions that don’t lend themselves to capturing beautiful images offer a great opportunity for photographic experimentation. Here I slowed my shutter speed down dramatically and panned the camera along with the running impala in order to blur the background and create the sensation of movement.
The Dark-Maned Majingilane looks up from an impala carcass he had just stolen from the Vomba female leopard near the Airstrip. Impala alarm calls had roused him from his sleep, and he lost no time in finding the leopard and chasing her away to grab a free meal. She subsequently caught an Egyptian Goose which she carried back to her cub.
The Hip-Scar Majingilane drinks from Xidulu Pan. he had been lying with two others of the coalition and the three older Tsalala females when the distant roars of the Scar-Nosed male caused him to head south to join up with him. It got too hot before he got halfway there, and he decided to rest in the shade until evening.
A pair of Martial Eagles surveys their domain. These regal birds are the largest eagle species at Londolozi, and are big enough to even take down impala lambs!
The Sparta pride was moving around quite a lot this week, despite the cold and continuous rain. Here, two of the cubs engage in their usual antics, taking advantage of a brief break in the wet conditions
The Vomba female leopard watches an impala herd in the distance. She had just left her cub in a thicket near the Sand River and was heading out on the evening’s hunt.
A male Saddlebilled stork takes a break from frog hunting. His black eye and yellow wattles near the base of his bill differentiate him from the female of the species, who has a yellow ring around her eyes and no wattle.
One of the Ximpalapala cubs sleepily opens one eye to look down from the boughs of her favourite Jackalberry tree on the banks of the Manyelethi River. This cub has been seen many times on this same branch, and some rangers are even beginning to refer to her as the Jackalberry female
This young male has been seen more and more regularly around the Southern areas of Londolozi. We believe him to be the son of the Piva female from her 2009 litter.