As rain clouds filled the sky, rolling in from an almost unreachable horizon, they reminded us that summer is here. A change in season and scenery transporting us to a time of plenty. Impala ewes on the verge of bursting await the looming flush of greenery. Soon, hundreds of miniature impala will demand attention and the “ooh”s and “aah”s of onlookers will dominate conversation.
Speaking of dominance, continued presence of the Matimba coalition has finally been acknowledged by the Tsalala pride, more specifically the two tailed lionesses. The two separate pairs of lions were seen mating in the Sand River, which made viewing tricky, close to camp for a total of 5 days before going their separate ways. Is this mating a sign that the Matimba males are here to stay? Their constant presence was a stark contrast to that of the leopards over the last few days, who were conspicuous by their absence.
The unfolding story continues and as we try and keep up we are drawn ever deeper into the amazing lives of the inhabitants of Londolozi. Here are a few moments in time, enjoy this Week in Pictures!
One of the most beautiful things I have ever seen…
The tailed Tsalala lioness has bred successfully in the past. Is it almost time for her to put her mothering skills to the test under a new reign?
The sun sets on winter and the dawn of a new generation of impala looms.
A young vervet monkey playfully hangs from a Jackalberry tree after gorging itself on the abundance of fruit.
The Mashaba female’s cub climbs with intent en route to a hoisted bushbuck kill.
Incoming! An oxpecker lifts its head off of a tick-ridden buffalo to see more of its kind join in the buffet.
The most beautiful tail of all the big cats, with a mind of its ow; a leopard’s tail enthrals onlookers.
The sun had set and the soft lingering colours helped give a gentle feel to a somewhat dark and mysterious bush character.
I love the texture of an elephant, there is so much detail to behold.
One of the extremely impressive Matimba coalition, standing proud in the morning sun, overlooking his potential new kingdom.
Rounding the corner this scene was overwhelming. I have hoped to see lions cross the causeway since my arrival at Londolozi almost 2 years ago: was this finally the moment? My hopes were soon shattered as the two sought some privacy and half way across the the causeway turned upstream and melted into the reeds.
One of the most quintessential of all African moments, a picture from a few weeks ago that I couldn’t leave out of the lineup.
Written and photographed by Simon Smit (Londolozi Ranger)