Fasten your seat-belts and tighten your chinstraps because this week was pure safari gold!
We kicked off with a ridiculously good sighting of the Flat Rock male leopard atop a large termite mound, staring fixedly at a lioness from the Ntsevu pride while she mated with a lion from the Birmingham coalition. One could only wonder what went through his mind as they almost coupled on top of an equally large termite mound not more than fifty meters away!
Just after we caught the Flat Rock male spying on the lions we bumped into a pack of African Wild dogs on the move. Whenever they are on the hunt, chaos is never far behind. Eventually we watched them catch an impala and then deliver a serious hiding to an inquisitive spotted hyena!
A herd of buffalo, a cheetah kill, a baby giraffe, the Hukumuri male leopard on patrol and one insanely sized pachyderm rounded off the sightings.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
None too impressed with the romance in front of him, the Flat Rock male leopard fixes his gaze on a pair of mating lions.
A lioness from the Ntsevu pride and a lion from the Birmingham coalition ascend a termite mound and survey their surroundings. Our patience was eventually rewarded as they’d been mating nearby for some time before suddenly climbing to the summit.
A juvenile Martial Eagle calls for its parents from a marula tree. Once fully fledged, juveniles will continue to depend on the adults for food for three to eight months.
Something not often seen; a young giraffe taking a break at midmorning. Note the ever busy red-billed oxepecker combing through the giraffe’s fur on its hind leg in search of ticks.
Southern Londolozi is something of a buffalo highway, with breeding herds moving through almost daily. As part of their commute they stop to drink at one of the prominent waterholes.
In one of the most exciting sightings of the week, we tracked and found the Tsalala lioness and her three cubs in part of the Sand River that is usually quite inaccessible. Fortunately, we were able to thread our way around several trees and over one or two rocks before squeezing the Land Rover into a narrow channel near to the four lions. This cub and its siblings played in the sand next to their sleeping mother. An afternoon none of us will ever forget!
Water is a big part in the life of any White Rhinoceros, but the big bulls in particular need to drink often in order to replenish their reserves. Using urine as one of their primary scent marking tools, they spray a lot of it on vegetation when on patrol.
Ironically, it’s difficult to photograph the Cape Buffalo, but on this occasion this bull stood atop a rise against a clear sky making for an easy shot. Older bulls like this trail the breeding herds prior to their retirement.
Fast becoming one of my favourite male leopards, the Hukumuri male patrols his territory in northern Londolozi. With an uncanny resemblance to the late Camp Pan male, he’s undoubtedly one of the main contenders for the territory of the ageing Anderson male.
The subject of my next blog entry will be a sighting involving this young male cheetah and his sibling executing a perfect hunt in broad daylight. This image was captured early on in the morning when everything was bathed in golden light.
An African Wild Dog – part of a pack of nine – takes a breather during an afternoon hunt. Perched atop a termite mound it surveys its surroundings in search of its next meal. On this occasion, it was an unlucky impala that fell victim to the pack’s flawless hunting tactics.
The cryptic coat of the Nkoveni young female allows her to blend into just about any environment. Silent and secretive she scans the bush around her in search of prey.
A majestic bull elephant walks a game trail that has been pounded into the earth by the feet of many generations, in search of water and grazing. In my opinion, an elephant of this size has no equals and is the undisputed king of the African jungle.
On a casual game drive close to camp a zebra stallion was grazing against a scenic backdrop. Late in the afternoon one is often torn between looking for opportunities like this in golden light or stopping to enjoy the sunset. Thankfully, whichever option you choose, you’re likely to be rewarded.
A Birmingham male lion looks up at a passing vulture. Of the three brothers, two of them still look as good as any lion you’re likely to see in the wild.