Lions, leopards, a cheetah and three wild dog packs! What more could one ask for when it comes to predator viewing? A sure highlight has got to be that of the reappearance of the young female cheetah that has been around the north-eastern sections of Londolozi for the last few days. I personally hadn’t had a single cheetah sighting this year until this last week. Our sighting wasn’t just about seeing a cheetah but watching it actively stalk, chase and kill an adult impala ewe in front of us. It’s pretty hard for any cheetah sighting to top that! It appears to be the young female from the mother with two sub-adult cubs we have previously spoken about, and she seems to be doing just fine with not just the above-mentioned kill but a second kill two days later, after having half of the first impala kill robbed by vultures and a hyena.
Just this morning we had three wild dog packs on Londolozi at once. Vehicles north of the river enjoyed a morning with wild dogs while we witnessed one pack being chased by an entirely different one further south, to then have the chasing pack catch what looked like a duiker while in mid-pursuit. Even though grass is long and some may think it’s harder to find animals, this week has proved otherwise.
Enjoy This Week in Pictures…
Minutes after successfully bringing down an impala ewe this young female cheetah regains her breath. It was later in the day that descending vultures alerted a hyena into the area which stole the remains of the impala.
Wild dogs have surely been a highlight of this last week with not one but three packs hunting around Londolozi at once! Two packs even encountered one another which led to one fleeing while the other gave chase.
Abundant and successful, we don’t often spend enough time with impala. This herd was surrounded by long grass and greenery and it gave us the opportunity of capturing these perfect antelope in the scene of summer.
Drenched and looking bewildered from the rain, one of the Ximungwe female leopard’s cubs sits atop a fallen over marula tree as she waits for a hyena to pass by before returning to her mother.
A head shake from one of the Birmingham males before yawning, grooming and roaring his dominance over the area.
Not only sunsets but sunrises have also been very dramatic with the cloud cover over this last week. A typical morning scene we have been experiencing of late.
Although not from this last week but still showcasing the abundance of fireflies we continue to see flashing about the Sand River each evening. This is a stacked image of a number of shots allowing a full rotation of the night sky with fireflies milling about in the foreground along the river banks.
One of the Nhlanguleni female’s cubs atop a marula tree. These cubs are nearly the size of their mother and not long from now will be hunting successfully and becoming independent. It’s not uncommon to find one cub walking about alone.
Dramatic evening light on the Ndzanzeni young male leopard as he lay waiting in a large Weeping Boer Bean tree while his father (the Inyathini male) fed on a kill he had surely made.
A male wildebeest laying claim to a small area demarcated as territory. These males will establish temporary territories in the hope of attracting females with which they will mate.
Mystery through the leaves. One of the Ntsevu lion cubs stares back through a dense Magic Guarri canopy. The look of intimidation from this little cub sets you back with hesitation as to its next move.
Now and then seen running in front of the vehicle rather than taking to the air, a Helmeted Guineafowl perches on a dead tree one late afternoon. When seen through binoculars – the feathers are beautiful along with the red and blue facial colouration.
I couldn’t resist a photo as this young Bateleur perched meters from our vehicle. Adults boast a striking white, black and red colouration. It will take this juvenile Bateleur 8 years to develop its adult plumage after hatching.
Not too often seen and a leopard that enjoys distance. The Senegal bush male snarls back. He was very relaxed until he decided he didn’t enjoy our presence. We retreated further so as not to agitate him.
The buffalo herds have been frequenting the grasslands of the south-west and as one can see in this image the grass has provided much nutrition for these large herbivores.
The seasons are changing and cool golden lit mornings provide a perfect canvas for great wildlife photography. Two Ntsevu lion cubs play and jump around one early morning. This is all development in becoming an apex predator.
When a short lens isn’t available one can take multiple shots and stitch them in a panoramic format in Lightroom. The Ntsevu pride and two Birmingham males lay claim to the Londolozi airstrip.
Not as adept at climbing as leopards, the Ntsevu cubs still venture up small trees as they play. This one went up this tree in a flash yet the clumsy descent took some time.