Another phenomenal week filled with dramatic weather conditions, sensational sightings and enthralling interactions draws to a close at Londolozi. Whenever I compile the Week in Pictures I feel there is a common trend often focusing and elaborating on the intriguing lion dynamics that continue to take stranglehold on the reserve. However, it is extremely difficult to ignore the continual shifts in territories and constant movement of prides throughout the property and adjacent reserves. I too have been intrigued by the ever-changing movements of the lion prides and coalitions, but this week, and in previous weeks, it has proven difficult to view any specific lions on a consistent basis as their sporadic and unpredictable movements continue.
The Tsalala pride have been seen both north and south of the Sand river, providing us with the most consistent and reliable viewing opportunities this week. The Mashaba female has returned to her usual territory after mating with the Inyathini male far to the south. The Nkoveni female’s cubs are growing up quickly, becoming increasingly relaxed in the presence of vehicles and are being found more regularly, often spending long periods playing with their mother. The local hyena den site is also continuing to provide incredible viewing, with several young cubs and their mothers interacting around the large termite mound they currently call home.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
Before descending from this Knob thorn tree, the Mashaba female displays caution, scanning for any prying hyenas that might hope to steal the remains of her kill.
A herd of wildebeest walk amongst the long grass as the sun slowlyrises
The Hyena den site is a hub of activity at the moment with several young cubs seen energetically playing with their siblings and mothers. Here, an older cub shows its affection for a much younger individual.
One of the Matshipiri males rests comfortably in the shade of a Tamboti tree thicket. With all four legs splayed out, it provided for a great opportunity to capture a close up photograph of his massive paw.
A fearless Fork-tailed Drongo persistently mobbed this Bateleur Eagle before flying off to the relative safety of a nearby tree.
One of the Nkoveni female’s cubs watches from the background as the more adventurous of the two walks towards its mother.
A small portion of a much larger breeding herd of elephants crosses the Sand river. There has been a vast influx of elephants over the last few weeks as many of them congregate around the river looking for greener pastures.
The Nkoveni female is proving herself as a dedicated mother as she is constantly seen hunting throughout the day to take care of her fast growing young cubs.
Texture. A relaxed and rather muddied elephant bull gracefully fed around our vehicle allowing for a close-up photograph of its coarse skin.
A huge male baboon sits atop a termite mound whilst keeping a close eye on the rest of the troop. His massive canines are larger than a lion’s, and are quite formidable weapons.
One of the Nkoveni female’s cubs seeks refuge in a Brown Ivory tree as a clan of hyenas descended on and subsequently robbed the Nkoveni female of her impala ram kill.
The dominant male hippo of a local pan makes his presence known as a breeding herd of elephants descend down into his territory for a drink of water.
Unique markings and genetic variations amongst giraffe result in vast colour differentiation between individuals. Giraffe bulls tend to be darker than their female counterparts and often become darker with increasing age.
The Xidulu female shows aggression and dissatisfaction to her rather perplexed looking male cub as she attempted to leave them in a specific area in the hopes of moving off to hunt. Her age is evidenced by her shortened and chipped teeth.
One of the greatest men I have ever met! It is an absolute privilege and honour to work with such a knowledgeable, holistic and ethical tracker. I owe much of what I have learnt about the bush to Freddy Ngobeni.
There have been no significant developments in the lion dynamics for a while now.
As soon as something happens, we shall be sure to report it.
P.S. I like your handle. I take it you favour neither coalition?