For most, the weekend officially begins on a Friday. At Londolozi there are no weekends. There are no Sunday blues or the rush of the Monday madness. Every day is jam-packed with action and it’s what you make of it that counts. It’s a mindset, an attitude, a feeling – it’s the overall experience.
In the bush there is no rest – as one creature drifts into a doze, another awakens. Animals are constantly on the go as day transcends into night. This week has been like multiple others with so many of highlights that it’s hard to pick one from the other.
Without further rambling I present to you just a fews from this previous week as we enjoy the weekend ahead.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
(And for those who were wondering about yesterday’s mystery bird, it was a juvenile Green-winged Pytilia. A pretty hard one to ID, so congratulations to those who got it right!)
A young hyena cub, only days old, is groomed by its mother. This is vital in enhancing the maternal bond.
An intimate stare from the Mashaba female leopard on a cool, overcast, gloomy morning. We still believe this female to be hiding very young cubs in a den, but we are yet to have a proper sighting of them.
After most of the morning spent following the Tsalala lioness, she settled up in an area she knows all too well; the southern bank of the Sand River at Finfoot crossing. Moments later she stretched and yawned a number of times before resorting to a shaded area to rest for the remainder of the day.
A young elephant, still mastering the art of dust bathing, thrashes its trunk around, throwing dust everywhere while attempting to get back up onto its feet.
A number of yellow-billed storks provided great entertainment one morning as they frantically marched around a drying pan with beaks deep in the water. The thrashing movement of their feet disturbed frogs and fish which they made easy meals of as they snapped them up in their beaks.
With a cut lip and intimidating stare, the Inyathini male walks through an open clearing. This male holds one of the larger territories of the Londolozi males, being found from the Sand River on our eastern boundary right down to beyond the southern sections of the reserve.
Witnessing these new additions to the Styx pride was a first for me. A cool, rainy morning spent tracking the pride in the north eventually led us to the discovery of them all huddled up sheltering from a cold night filled with rain.
This old buffalo bull with an intimidating stare must have many stories to tell, if only he could talk. Here he is ruminating on whatever grass he had been feeding on earlier that morning.
Early morning sunlight broke through the clouds and warmed up the Mashaba female atop this termite mound. A few stretches and yawns showed signs of her starting to move off.
A Birmingham male and Ntsevu female engage in an intimate act. For the majority of this year the Birmingham males have laid claim to the eastern and central band of Londolozi and in doing so have been frequently mating with the Ntsevu females in an attempt at passing on their genes. The time has come for them to start raising cubs and increasing the pride’s strength.
The Inyathini male showing aggression as the Tamboti young female approaches. He had just finished off the remains of a young bushbuck he killed that morning and the Tamboti youngster did her best to try get a share of the meal.
Its hard not to love very young animals out in the bush. An elephant calf, days old, stumbles to climb over a branch its mother recently moved in order to feed on the fresher grass beneath.
As previous posts and images have showcased, it has been a real privilege witnessing a mother cheetah and her two cubs enjoying the area in and around Londolozi. Are they here to stay?
A journey of plenty. When eight giraffe gathered in an open clearing on an overcast, windy morning it was hard not to view the spectacle in awe as well as snap a few photos.
Along with the mother and two cubs, a male cheetah has been spending time wandering through the open grasslands of the south-west as well as the high crests close to camp. By climbing a termite mound it provides a great vantage point to scan the surrounds for threats as well as potential prey.
Scent marking and calling every few meters, the Mashaba female patrols her territory at midday. What is the reason for this behaviour? Our only conclusion was that of the presence of the Three Rivers female (Xidulu young female) that was seen in the area earlier that morning. The frequent scent marking and calling will give clear sign to stay clear.
Still in a restful doze, a hyena lifts its nose to smell the cool breeze that began to blow. With an acute sense of smell, what could it smell that we couldn’t?
It’s never easy capturing birds in flight, and with the colours of the lilac-breasted roller there is no better subject to attempt such a photograph. Birds will generally take off into the wind as it provides quick and easy lift. With this calculation we were able to position the vehicle in the hope of capturing the beautiful turquoise colours as it took flight.
Golden evening light and a windless afternoon; a crash of about four rhino gathered at a waterhole to quench their thirst after a hot day. A low angle portrait of these magnificent creatures enhances their texture and size.
We all dream about perfect leopard sightings and perfect leopard trees. “Perfect” could never really be achieved out here, but the setting was probably as close as one could get when we found the Ndzanzeni female poised in a marula tree in golden evening light.
Only days old, a young elephant calf seeks refuge between its mothers legs. At such a young age it could easily walk under its mothers belly with no obstruction.
The Tamboti young female raced up a leadwood tree in attempt at escaping a large elephant bull that meandered through. The height vantage provided relative safety.