The cub of the Mashaba female continues to provide amazing viewing whenever she is found. Elephants are appearing in greater and greater numbers as water levels shrink in the large waterholes and rivers, and the dropping temperatures of winter have provided fantastic sightings in the crisp, clear dawns.
Enjoy this week in pictures…
The mother lioness from the Tsalala Breakaway pride (now renamed the Munghen Pride) leads her cubs across a dry mud wallow towards the Sand River while one of the youngsters, still at an age when everything is a curiosity, looks back towards the Land Rover. f6.3, 1/640, ISO 500
A beautiful scene at one of the river crossings, as an African Fish Eagle overlooks two Hamerkops paddling around in the fast flowing water. It was only after looking at this image on a computer screen that I noticed the water monitor lizard on the rock below the fish eagle. f3.5, 1/500, ISO 1000
The cubs of the Tamboti female peer out from the long grass on the banks of the Tugwaan drainage line. Although their mother had stashed them here while she went hunting, they weren’t very good at remaining hidden, as loud rustling and a wildly flailing Tree Wisteria, Bolosanthus speciosus, that they were attempting to climb, gave their position away as we drove past. f4, 1/640, ISO 640
A close-up of a Nile crocodile that was lying in the rapids at a river crossing, hoping to snatch a quick fish meal for its dinner. f2.8, 1/1000, ISO 640
A herd of elephants drinks at Shingalana Dam. The dry season is upon us, and elephants, who have to drink everyday, are forced to focus their movements around the major waterholes and rivers. f6.3, 1/320, ISO 640
A giraffe bull snatches a quick drink a Circuit Pan while his companion keeps watch. Giraffes are very vulnerable when they put their heads down to drink, and as a result are extremely cautious when approaching a waterhole in case predators are lurking in the thickets. f6.3, 1/640, ISO 160
The cub of the Mashaba female receives a lesson in stalking; without adequate cover, your chances of a successful hunt are effectively zero. These guineafowl were in no danger, and their raucous alarming brought the Mashaba female hurrying along to usher her cub back into the bushes. f3.2, 1/640, ISO 1600
A hooded vulture waits its turn to feed. The Majingilane had taken down a buffalo but had moved off, and two hyenas were enjoying the leftovers while the vultures perched eagerly nearby. This photo is interesting in that one can see the Nictitating membrane of the vulture covering its eye. A lucky shutter press! f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 640
Two hyena cubs at the Xidulu Densite enjoy the afternoon sun. The Hyena population is on the resurgence again, and this same evening, 10 were found feeding on a giraffe carcass nearby. f3.5, 1/800, ISO 500
The smallest carnivores in the Lowveld, dwarf mongooses groom each other outside their termite mound refuge. f4.5, 1/1000, ISO 500
Female impala alarm call as one of the Majingilane moves past one chilly morning. As soon as the element of surprise is lost, hunters like leopard and lion are far less likely to catch anything, and so animals like impala would rather keep them under observation, alarming all the time, than have the predator disappear into the bushes and maybe try an attack from a different angle. f6.3, 1/800, ISO 640
Male lion conflict in the south is still not resolved. The South Pride has been split up and reunited, chased to all points of the compass, and basically having a tough time of late. Zebras alarming on this morning alerted ranger Tom Imrie and tracker Jeremiah Hambana to the presence of a predator, and four young lions from the pride (two males, two females) were found at Taylor’s Black Pan. f5, 1/800, ISO 160
Tracks in the sand told the story of how the Mashaba female and her cub had been chased by two of the Tsalala lionesses during the night. Concern rose after Jeremiah Hambana and Freddy Ngobeni, two of Londolozi's best and most respected trackers, spent three hours after drive trying to decipher the clues and found nothing. We headed out in the evening to see if we could find anything further, and a brilliant spot by guest Huw Cordey found the Mashaba cub alive and well on the eastern side of Vomba Dam. Driving closer, we lost sight of the cub behind a bush, and three circles around a prominent termite mound later, it seemed the cub had mysteriously vanished. A clearing of his throat by head tracker Richard Siwela from the back of the vehicle drew our attention, and he simply pointed upwards. The cub was perched on a dead leadwood branch directly above our heads, obviously confused by these crazy people driving in circles beneath it. Soft light filtering through the smoke of a bushfire added enormously to the scene, as the next two photos show.
The cub is young, and the evening after being chased for its life by lionesses it had gotten over it and was wonderfully relaxed. f4.5, 1/400, ISO 1000
Moving back into the branches of a Jackalberry tree, the cub still managed to line itself up in the most beautiful gaps in the foliage for us! f3.2, 1/1250, ISO 1000
Photographed by James Tyrrell
Fabulous James, amazing selection, what a great week. Your FOMO must surely be on the wane! Have a good weekend one and all…
Insane shots bud
Never a dull moment, and seldom a bad shot…life at Londolozi is one adventure after another. For those who haven’t been, you must go. For those of us who have, we can’t wait to return. Thank you, James, love your week in pictures.
Wow. Wow. Wow. You continually amaze with such rare and epic shots. Thank you for allowing us to feel like we’re still connected to the bush and Londolozi!
Another set of amazing photos. My favorite in this batch is the croc.
These are unbelievable shots and much appreciated! My August 31st visit is inching closer!
Outstanding. I just cannot wait for the weekend for the wonderful collection of the Week in Pictures post 🙂 Keep it up, Team Londolozi
Thanks, James, for a weekly reminder of the wondrous beauties of Londolozi. Can’t wait to return.
Great photos. So detailed. Good Job!!!!!
James, your shot with Mashaba cub on a dead leadwood branch stirred me. Amazing shot. Good textures, a clear focus with a green, leafy backround makes it the mystic, elusiveness that is so typical of Leopards. Oh and the fact you drove around in circles for a while make it even more special. Haha. well done.
Amazing photos! Anticipating my very first trip to Londolozi and the weekly pictures build the excitement! August is just around the corner and know I am in for the experience of a lifetime. Cheers!
James, photos are extraordinary! The stories that come with them are just a wonderful! Thank you as always!