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.
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.