A couple of weeks ago we ran the first of long-standing Londolozi guest and friend Graham Wood’s photo journals.
We’ve been keeping everyone waiting for his second batch of pictures, but since the bush has literally greened up overnight and suddenly looks nothing like it did when Graham was here, we thought we’d better get the rest of his fantastic photos out there as soon as possible to keep them current.
One can see how the season’s change is imminent here, with the budding leaves of this marula tree just visible. The Ximungwe female ascends towards her impala kill. This leopard has expanded her territory of late to include areas much closer to the Londolozi camps, and as a result is being viewed consistently.
Meanwhile, further south and generally unseen, the Tatowa female continues to raise her cub. This leopard was born in the northern parts of Londolozi but now inhabits the south-western grasslands and surrounds.
Backlighting adds a different element to nighttime photography, allowing for more of a feeling rather than a simple representative image. No creature is represented better by this technique than the spotted hyena.
Golden Orb-web spiders are starting to be seen more and more, as rainfall has brought out the smaller insects that form the majority of the spiders’ diet.
An elephant herd crowds around one of the smaller water-sources available right at the end of a long dry season. Fortunately since these photos were taken over 100mm of rain has fallen, filling up the pans and waterholes.
A white rhino cow and her calf slake their thirst in an almost-dry pan. The calf will be far more reliant on milk than water at this young age, so this photo of it drinking water so readily is fairly unusual.
A unique capture of a Brown Snake Eagle with a Lilac-Breasted Roller banking past in the background. Although the eagle eats almost exclusively reptiles, it is quite possible the roller felt threatened and was swooping past to encourage the eagle to move off.
Londolozi is not well known for its cheetah population, although these beautiful cats are viewed here regularly. A high number of rival predators – most of whom will easily out-muscle a cheetah – means that the long-term opportunities for the world’s fastest land mammal are slim. Nevertheless, come through they do, and over the last few years we have been graced with many spectacular sightings, including a fantastic run involving this sibling pair…
Buffalo jostle for position in one of the few remaining waterholes of a couple of weeks ago. In the larger herds, it pays to be upfront when approaching a small pan, as those at the back can be left with nothing more than churned up mud.
The Ximungwe female on one of her numerous hoisted kills of the last few months. This kill was found literally two minutes from camp, pre-dawn on the way out to look for wild dogs. The bush will always throw you surprises!
Londolozi’s current oldest female leopard, the Mashaba female, is not seen as often as she once was. At 11 years old, she should still have a few good years left in her, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not she will be able to raise another cub to independence.