The Makomsava cubs featured in last Friday’s Week in Pictures have been the highlight for us over the last week, but the viewing hasn’t been quite as spectacular as it was on that first afternoon, so we’ve decided to hold off on publishing more photos of them until we have some really stunning ones.
Elephants have also been a main theme over the past seven days; droves of them have been rumbling down to the Sand River (which has risen considerably after three days of a rain system moving through the Lowveld) in front of Camp and on either side of it.
The Ntsevu pride have been keeping us guessing; tracks through the middle of the reserve tell of their nocturnal movements, but by morning they have usually moved off Londolozi once more. We are probably going to see some interesting splits in tihs pride going forward, as more often than not the tracks we’ve seen have only been of portions of the pride and not the full complement.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
A spotted hyena covered in gore makes off with a substantial portion of a nyala kill that its clan had robbed from the Tsalala lioness. Being a single female (her daughter won’t yet be able to help in a battle with hyenas), the Tsalala lioness will invariably lose kills to a big clan.
And the lioness stares back towards the hyenas. Unfortunately for her, she’s probably going to have to get used to losing kills to her arch-rival.
The Makomsava female looks down over the Manyelethi Riverbed. Leopards will pause predictably when approaching an open area; they want to see if there is any danger there, whether or not there is anything they might be able to hunt, and true to their retiring nature, anything that might sound the alarm and give away their presence.
The same leopard in the same sighting, moving over a wildlife photographer’s dream location for these spotted cats; giant boulders.
The largest vulture species we get here – the Lappet-faced – takes flight.
Scary to think that this small crocodile will grow up – assuming it survives – to a size at which it will be big enough to take down large antelopes.
James Tyrrell films members of the Nkuhuma pride that were thinking of going for a drink. Some of the other lionesses had already moved off their giraffe kill towards the nearest waterhole, but these two thought better of it and moved with their cubs (visible to the right of the vehicle) back into the shade.
An inquisitive giraffe bull.
We went to check on the latest ostrich nest recently and found only shell fragments, but we are as yet unsure if this means the nest was raided by predators (most likely hyenas) or if the eggs hatched and the chicks have moved off with their parents. There were no chicks with this group, but they aren’t the only ostriches on Londolozi anymore.
The future of the industry. The Tracker Academy on the tracks of a lioness in the early morning. These young men will play a pivotal role in keeping the ancient art of tracking alive for future generations.
Beautiful morning dew on Phragmites reeds next to the Sand River.
An elephant’s tusk comes perilously close to the bumper bar on the front of the Land Rover. This elephant wasn’t actually interested in the vehicle; he was feeding on Jackalberry fruits that had fallen to the ground around the tree we were parked under.
A rare sighting of an exposed klipspringer. Usually these diminutive antelope are confined to their rocky outcrop habitat, but this one must have been moving between outcrops, or else it was a young one dispersing and looking for an outcrop of its own.
Rangers Sean Zeederberg and Guy Brunskill photographing the Makomsava female leopard and cubs, who were perched on the boulder cluster in the background.
The male lion dynamics are set to heat up over the next year, With the Avoca males. (one of which is pictured here) pressing into northern Londolozi more and more, a coalition of four just beyond our southern boundaries, and the Birmingham males ageing, something must surely give…