Wow, what a visit! We have been Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and South Africa, but the Sabi Sand Game Reserve remains our absolute favourite place. We have been to Londolozi several times prior to this recent visit and all of our visits have all been memorable.
However, this visit to Londolozi was very special indeed. Leopards everywhere! Of course. This is Londolozi – famous for its leopards. But it wasn’t just leopards; it was leopards in action; leopards with cubs; leopards at night reflected beautifully in the moonlit water; leopards on kills; leopards in hiding; leopards with hyenas.
All in all, we saw over ten different individuals.
Actually, the trip WAS about leopards, but it was also so much more…
We also managed to see the new dominant lion coalition; the Birmingham males. We saw all four (one has since disappeared), but only three together at one time. We sat mesmerised as their huge mass of muscle and strength walked by us in the darkest of night lit only by the single spotlight or silhouetted by others. They roared in front of us and the deafening noise could be felt reverberating through the Land Rover’s framework.
So many of our sightings were spectacular; with animal action and interaction. We had a two-hour sighting involving a mother giraffe, the carcass of her young calf; a hyena and the Ximungwe Female. Each exhibited the behaviour appropriate for their position in the predator/prey hierarchy.
We saw the Tsalala lioness within 40 meters of the Flat Rock Male, each unaware of the others’ presence and, unbelievably, we left that sighting to go find the Anderson Male leopard; a huge dominant male that is not often seen.
We spent sundown into the dark night watching him on patrol and attempting twice to catch some kudu. While we were waiting for him to move, we saw a glorious journey of giraffes beautifully silhouetted in the setting sun.
I haven’t even mentioned our close crocodile encounter, numerous elephant interactions, rhinos taking mud baths, several birds of prey and my favourite bird sighting; the lilac-breasted roller. The list goes on and on.
All of that was great, but the highlight of our stay, no doubt, was an unbelievable sighting in the very early morning with 8 African Wild Dogs and 10 hyenas fighting over an impala kill. It was in our top 10 sightings EVER, and after 30 years of going on safari, that says a lot.
We were surrounded by the noise, the energy, the fighting, and bits of the carcass flying. Dogs fighting with hyenas; dogs fighting with dogs; hyenas fighting with hyenas; and all of the action happening within meters of our vehicle. It was indescribable.
This time during our visit we stayed at the newly refurbished Granite Suites room 2; it was indescribably beautiful. Many of our afternoons were spent simply watching the elephants and monkeys drink from our pool; and our post-game drive banter at the bar was always entertaining before sitting down to an excellent dinner with fine wine. The service was impeccable and personalized but not smothering or overbearing.
As Robbie, our expert butler, would say…everything about Londolozi this visit was “Cool Beans”.