Another week draws to a close and it’s the time to summarize the seven days in only a few pictures. As it is mid-winter and a time when predators thrive (as prey become weakened due to the reduced nutrients in the drying grasses) it is natural that it is the predators take centre stage in this gallery. .
The Hukumuri male leopard seems to be pushing territory further south into Marthly, while the Flat rock male pushes further north from the Sand River. What will happen to the Anderson male leopard and how is he reacting to the presence of these two males actively scent marking areas he frequents? Is he being squeezed out? The damaged eye of the Hukumuri male shows they may have already confronted one another.
With a number of pregnant Wild dog females, it’s only a matter of time before they start denning. With multiple packs running about, will it be our luck that they settle up and den on Londolozi this winter? Only time will tell and our fingers remain crossed.
The mystery bird for this week was a Sabota Lark. Well done to those who got this correct.
For now, relax and marvel at this weeks highlights.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The Hukumuri walks a road in north Londolozi; a road he has been familiar with for some time yet he now begins venturing and scent marking further south.
Cool mornings filled with sunshine allows for great bird viewing along the banks of the Sand River. A little bee-eater gathers morning sunlight.
The Ntsevu lion cubs are growing fast. It’s only a matter of months before a few of the older ones may add strength to the pride by helping bring down larger prey. Shortly after this sighting the pride was successful in catching a young buffalo as light faded.
Textures of a buffalo bull nestled in a large herd.
Frantic alarm calls from a herd of impala had us racing towards a small waterhole in the south-east, shortly to find the Three Rivers female leopard with a young impala ewe hoisted into this tree. Not only us but hyenas alerted by the alarming impala and rushed in. Fortunately the leopard had managed to get the kill up the tree in time.
The beautiful golden light of winter. Shades of yellow, orange, gold and brown light up the cold landscape and slowly usher in the heat of the day. A zebra stallion looks out to another dazzle in the distance.
The largest eagle found at Londolozi. This Martial eagle had caught a bird of sorts and was constantly being harassed by a much smaller eagle by comparison, a juvenile African hawk eagle.
Another successful hunt from the Ntsevu pride as they brought down this adult zebra sometime during the night. After the Birmingham males had their feed and moved to the shade it allowed a few of the cubs to feed a bit more.
It always fascinates me that giraffe are ruminants. How they regurgitate food all the way up their long neck and back into the mouth to chew further is an amazing part of their design.
The Flat Rock male leopard atop a termite mound, side-lit one moonless evening. This was north of the river and an area I haven’t seen this leopard before. He continues to push his territory both north and south.
The excitement of the unexpected. A slow start to the afternoon turned into a high when tracker Lucky Shabangu alerted me to something moving through the bush only meters from the road. We have been extremely lucky with pangolin sightings in the last while.
Early morning light yet cool temperatures that allow wild dogs to hunt well into the day. One wild dog listens out for any calls from the rest of its pack.
The Flat Rock male leopard side-lit at sunset. The time we head back to camp for dinner and sleep is when many predators start patrolling under the cover of darkness.
A leopard who took advantage of the death of the 4:4 male in 2016 to grab territory to the west of the Londolozi camps.
Enough detail to tell a story.
For those that have visited before – there is a large granite boulder in the middle of the Sand River, downstream from Plaque rock. It’s a boulder we all dream of seeing something resting on. Well this cool morning we encountered just that. Not one lion but the entire Ntsevu pride and their cubs enjoyed the early morning sunshine.
A white-faced owl listens out for any movement of prey below.
The Schotia female leopard assesses her next move on the young impala ram she caught the night before.
Spending time with elephants is always so rewarding. They are always doing something and can keep one entertained for hours. A large bull approached us from the back of the herd and allowed us to capture the details of these gentle giants.
A single female wild dog has frequented the central parts of Londolozi and has been successful in many hunts. What will the future hold? Will she find a few males and start a new pack?
My first view of the Tsalala lioness’s three cubs. It took a good amount of time to navigate our way into the Sand River to only have a gap through bushes to see the small eyes staring back at us.
One of the Ntsevu females nestled up on a high grass filled crest as the sun began to set.
A motion blur shot of impala running past a waterhole. It’s always fun playing with photography and there are always new things to learn.