“The earth, the air, the land, and the water are not an inheritance from our forefathers but on loan from our children. So we have to handover to them at least as it was handed over to us.” – Gandhi
The Sand River has a small stream flowing down its Southern banks and we have finally received some rain on Londolozi. Hearing thunder on a stormy night and sleeping with the sound of rain has never been so good. With rain comes the scenes of green sprouts and small buds of leaves. Fruits and flowers start to take over the landscape and mud wallows are found at every corner.
Dust has been washed out of the air and clear distant views come into bright clarity. The sound of Woodland kingfishers fill the afternoon. There is so much beauty in the Summer, from the wet lands to the freshness in the air after a night’s rain. It’s a different appreciation to the drier Winter months and bring with it pleasurable anticipation for the sudden changes.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
This relaxed Rhino calf – only about 2 months old – was covered in mud from a nearby wallow. With the recent rains, there are lots of places for rhinos and other animals to take some time to cool off.
A very exciting afternoon had us seeing the Tortoise Pan male back in his old stomping grounds after a few weeks spent exploring the far western sector of the Sabi Sand Reserve. Young male leopards often go wondering off during this nomadic period in their lives, and chances are fairly high that he will leave again.
This is a wonderful time of the year; the first impala lambs are starting to be born! Only a few have been seen but shortly there will be thousands running around amongst the green grasses.
The single Tsalala cub watches a passing herd of elephants from the heights of a granite boulder in the Sand River. As you can see, she has a full belly after feeding off the bushbuck her mother had killed that morning.
The defence of the White Rhino. Lying down, this individual gave me a good opportunity to see the different textures on the horns.
A Groundscraper Thrush collects material for its nest. It was clearly trying to fit as much as it could in its beak as possible!
The Mashaba female scans the area from a termite mound. We are still unsure as to where her exact territory lies as she has been seen in so many parts of the reserve of late.
Born in 2016, this male spent his early years in the south-east of Londolozi, but began moving further afield in late 2019.
The movements of a buffalo herd are determined by individuals in the front known as pathfinders; not necessarily a dominant individual but more of a decision-maker.
A hyena cub suckles from its mother. Hyenas are known to have the richest milk of any terrestrial carnivore.
Being mostly confined to nature reserves across the country, Bateleurs are always a pleasure to see. This one is a male; females have a grey patch on their outer lower wings.
The Ximungwe female looks extremely alert and focused on a passing herd of impala, despite the fact that she already had a kill in this Marula tree.
Having been viewed by vehicles from an early age, this leopard is supremely relaxed around Land Rovers.
Zebras are notoriously skittish drinkers. This one snatched a quick drink whilst the rest of the herd were on the lookout.
A Water thick-knee displays its wings, in order to look bigger as a defense mechanism. It had just finished chasing some Egyptian geese off, most likely away from its eggs as thick-knees are in the peak of their laying period.
The textures of a dried pan, a small pool of water and the large Nweti Male leopard provided a great photographic opportunity. This male is being seen more often in the Southern parts of the reserve.
A black and white image of a giraffe bull as it slowly moves from one Acacia tree to the next. Notice the lack of hair on the top of the ossicones; this is one of the ways to tell the sex of a giraffe. Males wear away the tufts of hair when fighting by hitting each other with these horn-like structures.
One of the pair of Africa Wild Dogs that has been seen around recently. We are not sure what has happened to the rest of the pack, or if the two of them dispersed from separate packs, but even just the two of them still makes for a great sighting.
The Ximungwe young male licks his lips after enjoying a kill that his mother had made earlier that morning. Being over 13 months, we should start to see him making his own smaller kills soon.
A Leopard Tortoise a enjoying the new green shoots starting to rise. This is the largest tortoise species we find here, with some reaching up to 40 kg! Interestingly, they are the only tortoise that is known to be able to swim.
A Birmingham male looks straight at us as he trails the Nstevu pride. The two brothers are still managing to hold on to their large territory after the loss of the third.
An African green pigeon scans the banks of the Sand River from the top of a small Natal Mahogany tree. Being frugivorous, a healthy population of these birds occurs in the riparian areas of Londolozi, where a plentiful supply of fruiting trees is to be found.
I was lucky enough to get a photograph of this gerbil before it ran into the bush. They are normally too quick for us to get a proper look at them.
We have recently been seeing a lot more of this male cheetah in the south-western parts of the reserve. He has been scent marking and roaming between us and our western boundary, hopefully setting up territory in this area which could mean enjoying cheetah sightings more frequently for the next couple of years.