Nature doesn’t seem too concerned with what is going on in the human world. In fact if anything, urban areas are becoming rewilded and wild places are becoming wilder! This is not to say that those of us that are still in the bush are going to throw out our technology and move out into the reserve, feeding off marula fruits and termite alates. It does sound quite tempting, but we have committed to keeping you all updated with the stories of the animals that we have all come to know and love.
This past week we have been incredibly lucky with the abundance of lions on Londolozi. The Ntsevu Pride and two Birmingham males were seen on numerous occasions, looking very well fed. We tracked them on foot on more than one occasion, providing some exciting moments. The Styx Pride was found with a wildebeest kill near Ximpalapala Koppies in the north of the reserve, while at the same time another pride was calling in the far south west that we were unable to find.
On the leopard front, the Senegal Bush male seems to have settled around the Maxabene riverbed, potentially having pushed the Inyathini male further south, as the latter was seen in the far south-east of the reserve. Excitingly both the Piccadilly and the Nkoveni females have been seen lactating but we are yet to find where they may be hiding their young cubs…
Plenty of elephant and giraffe have been spread out across the reserve and we have received some fantastic late rain.
Enjoy This Week in Pictures…
The Nkuwa Female uses a termite mound to her advantage to gaze longingly at a flock of Guineafowls that were walking towards her in the road. Shortly after this photo was taken she launched a half-hearted attempt at stalking them and got surprisingly close before they noticed her.
One of two sisters born to the Nhlanguleni Female, both of whom made it to independence, the first intact litter to do so in 7 years.
I have so many photos of these magnificent birds. I can never resist an opportunity to stop and admire the colours of the Lilac-Breasted Roller.
A young rhino listens intently as we watch from a distance. Both of us had got quite a surprise as we rounded the corner early one morning.
A young male of the Ntsevu Pride stares us down from the shade of a thicket. You can see his mane just starting to form.
One of the more mesmerising things to watch in the bush is an elephant’s trunk at work. Here he uses it to shove a very thorny branch into his mouth without any problem whatsoever.
The nature of a Zebra’s diet and the way its digestive system works means that there is a lot of gas that builds up in the stomach giving it quite a bloated look. It’s either that or this Zebra could be pregnant. Either way the main thing I love when a Zebra looks at you is the diamond patterns the stripes make on the face.
By slowing down the shutter speed to 1/25th of a second and holding the camera very still on a bean bag for stability I was able to get the motionless crocodile in focus and blur the flowing water around him.
There is a time most mornings when the sun eventually burns off the carpet of mist that we usually wake up to and casts the most beautiful sunshine over the green reserve. It’s called the golden hour and it is beautiful.
One of the lionesses of the Ntsevu Pride strides across an open clearing as she heads for the cooler shade where the rest of the pride were. You can make out one more youngster in the background who was reluctant to follow but then changed his mind very quickly when he discovered he was now by himself.
Becoming increasingly more independent as the days go on, the Ximungwe Young Male is often found on his own. This photo was taken late in the day as he woke up and started to get active. He promptly walked down into the Sand River and out of sight.
James Tyrrell, focusing hard on getting the shot as a large elephant bull ambles towards a waterhole. James has been hard at work compiling our daily safari videos.
An oxpecker flies off a giraffe’s head as it swiftly raises up from a drink of water. The tendons in a giraffe’s neck help keep the neck and head upright, thus after stretching down for a drink, it all snaps back into position.
A lioness from the Styx Pride was seen a few hundred yards from where the rest of the pride was eating a wildebeest. Both in the morning and evening, she lay on a termite mound and called out continuously. Why she did this, we are not 100% sure.
The twist of a leopard’s tail… Instead of going for a standard side-shot of the leopard as it crossed in front of us, I tried to look for something different. The leopard kept flicking the tip of its tail over itself in this way, providing a great contrast against the shady background.
A large elephant bull in musth shakes his head at us while standing in a waterhole from which he was drinking. Bulls in musth will often sway from side to side and rest their trunk over one of their tusks.
The Senegal Bush Male emerges from a thicket and pauses before entering the Maxabene riverbed. We had seen him from behind heading in the direction of the dry riverbed so looped ahead in the hopes that he would emerge. Bearing in mind that he can be quite nervous around vehicles, we waited quietly for him. He did emerge and was surprisingly unperturbed by us at all.
Initially seen as a young male in 2016, this leopard only properly established territory on Londolozi in mid-2019
A silhouette of a grey heron, against a large storm that was brewing one evening this week. We received 25mm of rain one night, topping up all the small pans and mud wallows again before we head into the dry season.