Today we continue with Londolozi guest Tony Goldman’s photographic series.
Tony has been visiting us for many years, and when not on drive can be found moving silently along the camp pathways, photographing some of the birds and antelopes that are found inhabiting the riparian vegetation in which the camps are situated.
We have at least four batches of Tony’s photos to publish, so will be spacing them out over the next week or two.
Enjoy today’s selection…
The Nkoveni female, one of the mainstays of Londolozi’s leopard viewing, easily identified by her 2:2 spot pattern (2 spots on the right cheek and two on the left). She is currently raising a female cub, that – if she survives – will be the first offspring that the Nkoveni female will have successfully raised to independence.
Mothers and cubs will virtually never feed on a kill at the same time. Feeding in line with their solitary nature is more their thing, and they will take it in turns; one resting or grooming while the other eats. When the changeover occurs, the instinctive aggression of the solitary predator comes to the fore, and mothers and their cubs – no matter how small – will snarl at each other.
A Southern White-faced owl turns its head to examine something below it. These owls are not often seen at Londolozi, preferring slightly more open habitat. As a result, the south-western parts of the reserve is where most sightings occur, as the landscape is dominated more by grassland than thicker woodland.
A female Chinspot Batis. The male has a black chest band and lacks the prominent spot on his chin. The distinctive three-part whistle of this bird species (often phonetically represented by “three blind mice”) is constantly heard through the Londolozi camps as well as out in the bush.
Giraffes are one of the few species that can feed on the Tamboti tree. The tree contains a toxic latex that can cause major stomach irritations, and even the smoke from a burning Tamboti log can be harmful to people. Thankfully the smoke has a distinctive sweet odour and the situation is therefore easily avoided.
One of the Birminham males atop a granite boulder in the Sand River. How many male lions have surveyed the territory from this same vantage point over the aeons?
Steenboks are notoriously difficult to photograph. Depending heavily on their camouflage (and standing still) to avoid detection, as soon as they feel they have been spotted they will take off in a puff of dust. Whenever a vehicle comes to a have to look at one, they usually hightail it out of there, so one has to be ready with camera in hand to capture a photo.
Two of the Ntsevu pride’s cubs peers out from a thicket line. With more than 10 cubs currently in the pride, these females have been providing fantastic viewing over the last couple of months. They will often have one of the Birmingham males in attendance as well.
The female cheetah and one of her two offspring. Although we haven’t seen these three cheetahs in a while, last reports indicated that they were healthy.
One of the three surveys the grassy marula crests for one of the ever-present impala herds.
With rains having fallen, the pans are starting to fill up once more, and combined with rising temperatures have been drawing in all the animals that like to wallow in the mud. Elephants like this bull have been taking full advantage!
A quick grooming session between an Ntsevu female and her cub.
Before the river began flowing again, certain pools were full of fish that had been trapped there by receding water levels, which in turn attracted a plethora of piscivorous species. Grey Herons, yellow-billed storks and Nile Crocodiles can all be seen here.
Fine detail on a male kudu’s face.
Lizard buzzards feed primarily on reptiles as the name suggests. What’s interesting in this photo is how the snake this one has caught has tied itself into a knot!
Yellow-fronted canaries, despite their bold yellow colouring, are often overlooked. One can usually get a good idea about a bird’s diet from the shape of its beak and the heavyset bills of the canaries are strongly suggestive of their diet of mainly seeds.