This week was characterised by a contrast of emotions, a celebration of life and the departure of two of our game rangers. The bush is full of trials and tribulations, of love and family and of course the beauty that the natural environment provides for all of us. It is an emotion that is tangible, one that lives within our heart and souls forever and one that makes us who we are as individuals. The untimely death of the Xidulu female leopard earlier this week leaving behind her two 14 month old cubs, coupled with the departure of Sean Creswell and David Strachan made for it a difficult and challenging week at Londolozi. We move now from sadness into a world of optimism and hope for the Xidulu young male and female and their successful transition into independence and too for Sean and Dave as they embark on a new adventure.
Despite such saddening news, Londolozi has once again provided a spectacle this week. The lion dynamics continue to dominate conversation on game drives and around the boma fires at night, with the Tsalala breakaway young males and two unknown males persistent advance for territorial dominance over the Matshipiri males. Multiple leopards are secreting away tiny cubs, whilst the Piva, Inyathini and Flat Rock males continue their fight for ever-shifting territories.
As an emotional week at Londolozi comes to a close, one can only look back in celebration, in love and with the greatest appreciation for the natural lanscape.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The Piva male continues to expand his ever-growing territory, constantly interacting with the Inyathini male and Flat Rock male.
Textures of an elephant’s trunk…
A large flap-necked chameleon elegantly walking across the road. Being predominantly nocturnal, it is always fascinating to view these animals during the day.
The Xidulu female on what must have been one of her last territorial patrols on Londolozi. Born in October 2001, she leaves behind her two 14 month old cubs.
One of the cubs at the hyena den site stares off into the thicket line, inquisitive of a passing elephant.
With winter fast approaching, misty mornings are now upon us the sun rises, illuminating the Sand river.
A herd of elephants crosses the Sand rRiver whist taking a break to drink and splash water on themselves.
Dave Strachan and his guests enjoy a sighting of the large herd of buffalo. I have become very close with Dave after completing our training course together in January 2015 and subsequently living next to one another since then.
Fading evening light allowed for a motion blur image of the Tsalala young male.
As the rutting season slowly comes to an end, the effects of male impala fighting can be seen.
The beautiful Nkoveni female walks towards our vehicle with a piercing stare.
A yellow-billed hornbill takes a break on a dead knob thorn tree as it prepares to swallow a grasshopper.
Sean Creswell will be sorely missed at Londolozi and amongst the blog team. Meeting him at University, he has become a close friend throughout our time together at Londolozi. Here, him and guests enjoy the Mangheni pride as they walk passed his vehicle.
The Tailless lioness stares intently at a herd of impala as she tries to use the surrounding trees and bushes to hide her presence.
An opportunistic hyena scavenges a leg bone from an old carcass.
A magical morning with the Nkoveni female and her two young cubs. It was incredibly special to witness such a rare sighting.
Sadly we haven’t seen them on Londolozi Callum and haven’t heard any news of them from Mala Mala either..
Oh no, that’s sad to hear. I guess it does happen a lot even with cubs who get to stay with their mothers for 18 months, become independent and then just vanish and are never seen again. It’s always sad but hopefully new cubs of other females will survive.