The North has been the place to go recently. I love crossing the Sand River to the highly variable terrain of the part of the property known as Marthly, as I never fail to get that excited sense of anticipation, not knowing what it is we may see. Large blocks and few roads make the North a hit-or-miss type of place, but when the wildlife is doing it’s thing, there is no more beautiful place on Londolozi to serve as a theatre for nature.
Lions and leopards have been featuring prominently there this last week, with the Ximpalapala youngsters, the Majingilane and the Tsalala pride all providing some wonderful viewing.
We will be featuring a comprehensive blog on the North in the forthcoming weeks, but for now, enjoy this week in pictures…
The Majingilane have been on border-patrol this last while. Reports came in that they were all the way over in the Kruger National Park three nights ago. The next night they were in South-central Londolozi and the next right out to the west of our property. This morning they had reunited with two of the Tsalala lionesses near Ximpalapala Koppie. All four of the males patrolling together for an extended period of time quite possibly means that there is trouble brewing somewhere… Here one of the males grooms himself before settling in for the day’s slumber. f3.5, 1/800s, ISO 160 @ 200mm
A look the Londolozi rangers are coming to know all too well, as another magical sighting of the Ximpalpala cubs in a marula tree unfolds. f5.6, 1/50s, ISO 100 @ 200mm
This sighting provided such perfect photographic opportunities that at one point I felt like we were getting greedy, and I had to put my camera down! f3.5, 1/2000s, ISO 320 @ 200mm
One of the Ximpalapala youngsters scurries up a marula tree to join its sibling, who can be seen to just to the right of the main fork. f3.5, 1/640s, ISO 100 @ 70mm
Two for the price of one. Both Ximpalapala cubs in a familiar setting. f3.5, 1/320S, ISO 100, @ 200mm
A red-billed oxpecker uses a white rhino as a convenient perch from which to grab a drink. These birds will often use large wallowing herbivores like rhinos, buffalo and hippopotamuses as water access points! f4.5, 1/125s, ISO 1600, @ 200mm
A different type of photo. Taken from ground level on the airstrip, the heat from the morning sun causes the air just above the tarmac to shimmer, creating a slightly distorted view of the curious zebras. f8, 1/250s, ISO 100, @ 200mm
A zebra in high spirits runs from the vehicle near the Londolozi airstrip. f22, 1/50s, ISO 100, @ 100mm
‘Naughtiness’ and ‘entertaining’ often go hand-in-hand. Baboons fit the bill perfectly, and these youngsters were relaxed enough to let us get a few pictures before they hopped down from their perch. They tend to be wary of humans as we are often forced to shoo them and their kleptomaniac tendencies away from camp. f4, 1/800s, ISO 100, @ 95mm
The cheetah is back! Found in the morning by one of the other rangers, we went to look for him in the afternoon, but the long grass of late summer made for needle-in-a-haystack conditions. Just as we had given up hope and were heading for a waterhole to stop for a sundowner, he was spotted by one of the guests, surveying the area from a fallen knobthorn. f2.8, 1/640s, ISO 2000, @ 200mm
A rare photograph of a Shelley’s francolin. These birds are heard far more often than they are seen, as they favour long grass, and any sighting is likely to involve only a brief glimpse of one ducking off the road. f2.8, 1/640s, ISO 640, @ 200mm
Another crocodile pic, this time out of the water. Crocodiles are ectotherms, meaning that rely on the outside temperature to regulate their body temperature. Cooler conditions recently might have lead to lowered water temperatures, and prompted this croc to warm him- or herself up on the road. f2.8, 1/640s, ISO 160, @ 200mm
An elephant quenches its thirst from the remaining trickle of water in the Manyelethi riverbed. The Manyelethi is generally dry, with the exception of one or two permanent pools, but flooding in January has meant that a small stream still flows in this beautiful watercourse. f5.6, 1/320s, ISO 1000 @ 125mm
Two young hippos frolic in LTA Dam one morning. The small teeth that are quite evident in this photo are sure signs of their youthfulness. f3.5, 1/2000s, ISO 320 @ 200mm
The Mashaba female in a classic pose. One of the most beautiful leopards at Londolozi, she bears a striking resemblance to the Tutlwa female in this photograph, which is not surprising as Tutlwa is her older sister from a previous litter. f2.8, 1/500s, ISO 640, @ 200mm
Photographed by James Tyrrell
Thanks for the blog post James. I always look forward to the week in pictures! Awesome panning shot of the zebra. Nice focus around the head and motion throughout the rest of the photo.
Thank you for taking us all across the river with you through your photographs – they are wonderful.
Wonderful pictures and great blog James. Never EVER put your camera down, us lot stuck in offices and cold countries with very little wildlife can NEVER get enough pics to see ! 😉
Every picture … SPECTACULAR. Thank you James!
Beautiful pictures, especially the three zebra’s. thank you.
Zebra in motion–Great shot!
I’m not a masochist so why do I insist on looking at this blog everyday …. knowing I wont’ be there again until November…..thanks for the photos.
Just amazing James! I always look forward to the week in pictures – keep them coming.
As always, it’s my favorite Friday afternoon activity is to sit and absorb your incredible photos. Thank you again James. The leopard cubs in the tree is my favorite! But the photo of the cheetah is extraordinary!
Thank you!!!!!!!! I’ve always look forward to the week in pictures!
Another wonderful Londolozi blog. Thank you for the wonderful pictures and sharing you little piece of paradise with us.
The photo of the leopard stretched out full length climbing the tree