The week ends with the most spectacular news on the Wild Dog front.
Those of you who follow our Instagram feed will already know it, but the full report will be revealed on our Facebook page and Instagram Stories tonight. Simply put, it’s the complete reverse of the sad news from last week.
Anyway, enough cryptic clues for now. The female cheetah has been around in the grasslands, the Ntsumi female leopard put on a show for us with some hyenas one evening (video coming soon), and amidst it all, the Lockdown staff found time to make sure the reserve is protected from winter bushfires by burning firebreaks around our perimeter.
This female was born in the Sabi Sabi camps and became territorial in central Shaws, after inheriting a piece of her mother's territory.
Spotted this leopard?
You've seen this leopard
1 sighting by Members
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The cub of the Tsalala female watches a flock of storks fly over and settle in the Sand River close by.
A male saddle-billed stork flies overhead. These majestic storks are uncommon in general, however with the Sand River flowing as a steady yet shallow stream and with pools of water in the Manyelethi, we have been lucky to see pairs of them fairly regularly.
The Piccadilly female and cub in an absolutely gorgeous setting. The cub is still nervous of vehicles when out in the open, so we are careful to maintain our viewing distance.
A Goliath heron warms up in the sun while two crocodiles glide slowly past in the water.
A Kudu bull silhouetted against the morning sun. On average a Kudu bull’s horns will have two and a half twists in them by the time they reach about 6 years old.
The Green Pigeon’s diet is almost entirely made up of fruit which is one of the reasons you often see them perched high up in the big Jackalberry trees.
The Piccadilly female leopard with her cub. They have been hanging around a series of rocky outcrops (or “koppies”) for almost three weeks now. It has been incredible to watch how the cub is beginning to relax in the presence of vehicles.
Venturing off the track can take you to some stunning locations on Londolozi. In the Manyelethi River, a pool of water dotted with granite boulders is arguably one of the most picturesque spots on the reserve.
We were lucky to catch a glimpse of this African Barred Owlet out in the open one morning. Being so small (120g) the bulk of its prey consists of invertebrates such as beetles, grasshoppers and crickets.
This female cheetah and her two cubs were found lying on a termite mound in the morning sun.
This female cheetah was found one morning in the far south of the reserve. She was hunting for about 3 hours with her two cubs in tow.
One of the smallest elephant calves I’ve seen in many a month. Still wobbly on its feet, this tiny pachyderm can’t have been more than a few days old.
With a large chunk of the Londolozi staff away during the lockdown period, we had to organise a makeshift habitat crew to burn our firebreaks in order to protect the reserve from runaway bush fires. Camp Managers, Chefs and our sommelier – among others – were all recruited, and did an incredibly professional job.
A helmeted guineafowl catches up to its flock in the sands of the Manyelethi Riverbed. Raucous birds, they are maligned across South Africa for being noisy harbingers of the dawn, but are in fact beautiful birds with interesting flock dynamics.
The Ntsumi female leopard (we think) eyes out some hyenas that had just robbed her of her kill. She skulked in shortly after to try and steal back some scraps, but unfortunately for her there was nothing left.
One of the two cheetah cubs pauses in a long-distance follow of its mother to briefly climb a fallen knobthorn tree. Nowhere near as accomplished as their leopard cousins, cheetahs will nevertheless scramble up fallen trees and convenient perches to scan their surroundings.
Kudu bills are among the most beautiful creatures. Lovely shots!
So many adorable babies!! Congrats to the fire fighting crew!! thank you for another great look at the wonderful world of Londolozi ! Awaiting news of the wild dogs with fingers crossed! Victoria
Great pics this week. Fantastic news about the wild dog pups. Great work by the staff to make the firebreaks.
James, what a wonderful blog, I loved all the pictures🤗
What if someone doesn’t have either Instagram or fb accounts???will you send an email update on the wild dog pups??? 🙂
The Piccadilly female leopard shows us a typical Mama face! And this week really was not that, don’t know how to explain……
What a stunning compilation! I literally had to take notes to record my favorites – the upward stretched neck of the cub of the Tsalala female, the saddle billed stork, the Kudu Bull silhouette, the barred owlet and then above and beyond, the Manyalethi River – what a sere sight. The green pigeon and the Goliath heron – the composition of those two shots with fruit in one and crocs in the other – just terrific, and finally the two of the Piccadily female and her cub, the first with the female on her “throne” the second the closeup of their faces – the innocence and wide-eyed curiosity of the cub and the dangerous warning look of the female – Yowza!
Another great week in pictures. I absolutely love the Tsalala cub shot and the cheetah on the stump. And of course I am bursting in excitement to hear about the Wild Dog Pups – from your clues I am sensing they are ok? Don’t want to get my hopes up too high just yet, but fingers are crossed for the best news ever!!!
OHHW my goodness! What a way to start the day! This weeks pictures are JUST PRECIOUS!! They have brought about an unexpected IMMENSE JOY!
What an absolutely beautiful collection of images! You guys have excelled yourselves this week. It really lifts the spirit to see all these images. I’m not even going to try and pick a favourite.
Some really awesome photos this week! I love profile of the Tsalala cub looking upward and the mom and baby shots – leopard, cheetah, ellie – are all special. Thanks for bringing us to Londolozi!
So happy to hear the news about the puppies! TWIP was wonderful as usual! Thanks!
So good to see the photos of the cubs, belonging to the female cheetah and Piccadilly leopard. Additionally, your capture of the tiny elephant is heartwarming. It appears their numbers are steady and possibly growing. I wish the same was true for the big cats. Your blogs have always been informative and photographically interesting as well as educational. Continued good sightings!!
Wow! Another amazing week!
So many wonderful photos, thanks to all of you. Don’t think I’ve heard of the Ntsumi leopard before?
All lovely photos!! Thanks for holding down the camp to all remaining, and wishing you another great week!! By the way, I say the amazing news about the wild dog pack, but will refrain from commenting as to not spoil the fun for others!!
Beautiful shot of the Manyelethi River bed. Needs a matting and frame.
Thank you for stunning photos James plus excellent news re the Wild Dog pups. We’ve all grown so crazily attached to them and their parents in these unusual times and can’t wait to hear the update.
Another week of stunning pictures. These reflect the diverse but connected community at Londolozi and why it is never far from my heart. From staff working together to burn brush, families of cheetahs, leopards and elephants and the variety of birds that inhabit the trees and skies. Well done as always.
Hats off to each photographer whose images were chosen for TWIP. Some amazing captures! Like most I melt when seeing babies or young ones. Picture perfect was the young and still nervous leopard or the cheetah family. The tiny elephant was so sweet as well. So many others to mention. I never thought of firebreaks performed at Londolozi. But it makes sense. My thanks to all.
Great pics (as usual) and such fantastic news on the wild dog family