The month of October has been a very busy one at Londolozi. Not only have we welcomed guests back into the lodge but plenty of early-season rainfall has ensured that the bush has awakened from its annual slumber.
The transition from winter to spring has been incredible to watch and all the new grass shoots and tree leaves have attracted hungry herbivores from far and wide. Sightings of predators have been plentiful as a result of their prey moving away from the rivers and distributing themselves to all corners of the reserve; throw into the mix the fact that many birds are nesting and young chicks seem to be everywhere and it seems that spring has well and truly sprung.
Without further ado, enjoy this Week in Pictures…
Spring is the time that many birds will lay their eggs, as is the case for this crowned lapwing. Lapwings are well renowned for defending their eggs. They nest on the ground and rely on the eggs’ camouflaged to keep them hidden from predators. If anything comes too close to the nest for the mother’s liking, be it a mongoose or an elephant, she will aggressively defend her clutch.
A giraffe bull stares towards where a leopard had just slunk away into the thicket. The bush silently springs to life all around…
The Flat Rock male scans the open crest ahead of him from the top of a termite mound. Moments later he descended, drawing the watchful eye of the giraffe in the photo above as he did so.
A special sighting. A father ostrich leads his five youngsters across the open plains. The fresh green shoots of grass are a preferred delicacy for ostriches and we were able to sit with them for quite some time as they fed and meandered through the grasslands.
A young lioness from the Ntsevu pride circles around a watchful white rhino. Earlier in the morning we had found the pride lying in the open clearing but they were forced to make space for the rhino. The rhino then settled down for a mid-morning nap.
The drowsy rhino didn’t seem too bothered by the presence of about thirteen hungry lions.
As we were on our way to the same clearing in which we had found the Ntsevu pride in the morning, we were lucky enough to spot this tawny eagle drinking from a small puddle left behind by the recent rains.
A Birmingham male listens to the distant call of his brother. A large cloud bank above the mountains to the west had diffused the sunset, soaking the lion in golden light.
A group of kudus stand frozen as they survey the bush below them. Fortunately for them, there was no immediate threat nearby, instead they were staring at tracker Life Sibuyi as he followed the tracks of a female leopard.
A leopard draped over a branch viewed slightly differently.
Sunrise over the Sand River.
The Xinzele female. It was incredibly peaceful to simply sit in this leopard’s company as she rested on a boulder basking in the last rays of the setting sun.
I have written another blog about this already but I thought to include one photo of a recent highlight for me – seeing the youngest member of the Ntsevu pride for the first time.