A fabulous few days from the 6th to 9th January.
With thanks to Tally and Freddy, some excellent sightings and the chance to take some great pictures – helped too by hiring equipment from Kate at the Londolozi Photographic Studio, including the Nikon 200-400 to add to my own D810.
At this time of the year the birdlife is not only colourful but also in abundance. My favourite image is of the glossy starling that snapped up some poor frog’s legs for breakfast! Bee-eaters were also regularly sighted, adding to the colour of the reserve at this time of year.
Our first full day has to be one of the best we have had for sightings in one day, after many safaris. We came across a pack of nine African wild dogs, chasing impala one way and then the other, in the first light of morning. Before long we had tracked them down to a kill. They devoured this while a lone hyena watched on, keeping its distance. Later that morning we found one of the lion prides on the move – another chance for some stunning photographic opportunities.
That evening amidst a plethora of animals we enjoyed some great viewings of one of Londolozi’s famous leopards.
On our last morning, and just when we thought it could not get any better, the wild dogs returned and we caught them on the hunt again. They were soon on the scent of an impala – stalking a large herd. The herd was easily spooked and before we knew it there were impala and dogs everywhere! (chasing left and right). If you even dared blink for a moment, you would have missed the chase. It was absolute chaos with animals crisscrossing on each side of the Land Rover.
Amidst that chaos, one of the dogs had made a catch and we watched as it trotted back to collect and inform the rest of the pack – amazing behaviour. The kill was shared amongst the pack and even one injured and limping dog got its fill before retiring for a short doze, bellies full in the now very warm sun.
So the animals were great and the service, even better – on that note thank you too to Kim for allowing us into her wonderful wine cellar for our last dinner.
What a delight and what a place.
Written and Photographed by: Frank Oldham