Lions. This week was about Lions. At least for me. The Majingilane were back, coming in from the west to reunite with first the Sparta pride and then the Tsalala females. We had an incredible sighting of three of them crossing the Sand River on the causeway. The Tsalala lionesses themselves have been making repeated daytime hunting excursions across the Sand River without much success, but it has been fantastic to see them in action, especially for new ranger Peter Fleck (see photo below).
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
Londolozi’s happiest rhino. This little calf is a sheer delight to watch, and this morning was no exception, as its antics in the Maxabene riverbed had us all in stitches!
A giraffe drinks from Nanga Pan, leaving a beautiful trail of water droplets as it whips its head back up.
The new hyena den off Hobbit’s Hole Rd has many Grewia bushes around it, and at the moment, the Grewias are being feasted upon by these processionary caterpillars. Despite what some might say, the hairs DO itch, as discovered by tracker Mike Sithole on this morning after he had one of the little blighters crawl down his neck!
Two of the Tsalala cubs wait on a granite boulder in the Manyelethi riverbed for the return of their mother and siblings.
The same two cubs viewed from slightly further downstream.
The adult females had made a kill nearby. moving in to have a look, we saw tracks crossing the road, heading in the direction of the cubs, so we headed back to where we had left them. On the way we bumped into the Marthly male leopard on a morning patrol, but scarcely had we found him when the young Tsalala lioness burst form the bushes and went charging after him. Needless to say he fled, and the lioness moved back to where the cubs were waiting, here grabbing a drink from a pool in the Manyelethi.
Malachite kingfishers are in my opinion one of the most beautiful bird species on Londolozi, if not anywhere. We spotted this one perched on a log at Gert’s Pan when we stopped for coffee one chilly morning.
This was one of my favourite rhino sightings ever. A mother and her calf were in and out of the mud and then scratching on everything in sight. Both of them were incredibly relaxed, as the next photo shows…
Watching Elephants at a waterhole puts me in my happy place. A long file of them were approaching a small pan on this evening, so we sped ahead to wait for them. There was an incredibly touching moment when two of the big females stooped to help a tiny calf up the steep bank, after which the herd disappeared into the grasslands.
The setting sun backlights this zebra’s muzzle beautifully.
You have to feel for Mike Sutherland in this photo. His camera was back in his room, charging, and all he had with him was an iPhone to record this incredible scene. If you look really closely, you can actually see some of his tears mingling with the Sand River as two of the Majiniglane cross the Causeway towards his vehicle!
I have been waiting three years to get this shot: Melvin Sambo crossing the causeway. Unfortunately, one of the Majingilane walked in front of his vehicle and ruined the photo!
The sun sets over the Western Koppies, while the Escarpment can be seen in the far distance through the evening haze.
Photographed by James Tyrrell