I returned energised and extremely excited to be back in the bush after an incredible leave spent on the continent where the majority of our guests reside- North America. It was great to experience a different culture and environment and is now a place that I can better relate to with a number of my guests. It has been fantastic to be back in the tranquil setting of Londolozi though, which is looking incredibly beautiful this winter.
What would a Week in Pictures be without a brief update on the fascinating lion dynamics, which seem to have reached a climax lately. The Majingilane coalition pressed eastwards at the beginning of the week, spending a few days in the central and eastern parts of Londolozi, only to make somewhat of a hasty retreat after an altercation with either the Birmingham males, Matshipiri male(s), Avoca males or possibly even just during an intense scrap amongst the brothers at a kill. The movements of these males is also creating uncertainty and the unpredictable movement of the surrounding territorial prides who have been caught in the crossfire. The constant and unpredictable advancement and withdrawal from multiple coalitions is providing a captivating spectacle to witness firsthand.
Aside from a few gusty days during the middle of the week, generally cool weather conditions are favouring great general game viewing and a prolonged period of activity amongst the predators. A few female leopards on Londolozi are successfully raising their young litters, whilst the guttural sounds of rutting impala rams is subsiding, increasing the instances of reliable impala alarm calls to find predators with.
Wishing you a great weekend. Enjoy the Week in Pictures…
The regal Piva male leopard walks toward our vehicle as beautiful morning light illuminates his golden coat. On this particular morning we watched him patiently stake out a warthog burrow, only to miss an ideal opportunity as three of its inhabitants emerged from their burrow.
Directly descended from the original mother leopard and therefore part of the royal lineage of Londolozi.
A lone giraffe bull inquisitively stares at us while he chews the cud. These animals are ruminants and it is amazing to watch them swallow and regurgitate the bolus of food up and down their very long necks.
The dark-maned Majingilane male lion seems to have been the most affected of the coalition in their recent altercation. Although he only sustained superficial facial lacerations, it is evidence of the arrival of challenging males to the core of the Sabi Sands.
Two zebra enjoy the relieving warmth of the rising sun on a chilly winter’s morning.
The Tamboti female was aggressively scent-making her territory earlier this week, strangely seen relatively far away from her suspected den site. As of the last sighting, both cubs are still alive and well.
The Tamboti female inhabited the south-eastern sections of Londolozi, having a large part of her territory along the Maxabene Riverbed.
Whilst following the Tamboti female leopard through a rather thick area, Tracker Freddy Ngobeni spotted these Cape turtle dove chicks nestled up against one another.
The Tamboti female focuses her attention on a herd of feeding impala, the morning light providing a golden hue to her magnificent coat.
The beauty amongst the brush. The Impala Lilies are back; providing an oasis of vibrancy, colour and contrast during the dry winter months.
A perfect representation of a leopard track. This is the track of the Mashaba female and clearly shows the three lobes on the rear pad and four toes in front.
A spotted hyena ambles down the road as the sun begins to rise. These animals are predominantly nocturnal and as the day heats up, she will likely find a place to rest.
The two female cubs of the Nkoveni female leopard are growing up quickly and are becoming increasingly more relaxed around the vehicles. Here they take a short break in a patch of shade before continuing to follow their mother to an impala kill.
A young female that lives to the east and south of camp. Easily recognised by her 2:2 spot pattern she is often to be found in Marula trees.
Exhaled breath is illuminated by the rising sun as the Manjigilane males retreat back to the western section of the Sabi Sands after their recent altercation.