We haven’t done one of these in awhile, but I was in the archives recently and happened across a photo I hadn’t seen in a year or so, so thought we could reinstate this memory lane series.
See if you remember any of the leopards and lions from October 2015 below (some are still around).
Chameleons are creatures of summer, and the trackers have got spotting them at night down to a fine art. Expect to see a few more pictures of these fascinating reptiles gracing our social media pages in the months to come.
One or two of the crocodiles around Londolozi we can identify based on their size or maybe a distinctive injury or mark, but the one in this picture I can’t say I can remember from its tail. Given that crocodiles can live to well over 60 years (some reports claim 100, although that might be fabrication), I’m fairly confident whichever this one is, it’s still roaming Londolozi’s waterways…
It’s tough to recognise a leopard from just its eye, so I’ll be impressed if anyone can recognise this individual. It’s the Piva male, viewed between the two trunks of a Tamboti tree. He had just descended from a neighbouring Weeping Boer Bean where he had a fresh impala kill stashed.
The cub sitting up should be a familiar face to many; the Ximungwe female as a young leopard, when her sibling was still alive. I can’t actually remember if it was a male or female (I think male), but I seem to remember this was the last time I saw it alive.
This was the ginger Matimba male, photographed one night near the Londolozi airstrip. These males were eventually forced out of Londolozi, but I believe one of them – maybe even both – is still alive in the western sector of the Sabi Sand Reserve.
When your grip just wasn’t strong enough… Although summer is well-known for its impala, wildebeest and warthog births, it’s also the time of the year in which the local monkey troops produce their infants, who will grow up to perform hilarious antics like this pair.
A young Nkoveni female launches up a Tamboti tree towards a kill she had stashed. The compression factor on the lens makes the guest in the foreground look a lot closer to her than he actually is.
One of Londolozi’s more prominent leopards for a significant portion of her life, the Tamboti female eventually died of wounds we suspect were inflicted by lions. In this sighting we found her under a bush thanks to Kudus that had been barking at her, and she simply got up and walked up this fallen marula tree to rest. Magic.
Another gone-but-not-forgotten leopard, the Dudley Riverbank female shortly before she disappeared for the last time. One can see just how tatty her ears are; a sure sign of an aged leopard.
I included this photo mainly as a lesson to myself to check my settings. I didn’t do so before lifting my camera, and was underexposed to the point that these elephants were indistinct silhouettes against the sand. To get detail back into the calf and the mother’s trunk I had to lift the exposure by 3 stops. Check you settings before you take the photo!!!