Guest Willem Kruger has been visiting Londolozi for years.
His latest visit coincided with the tail-end of Cyclone Eloise, which unleashed torrential rain on Londolozi and much of the surrounding area, making game drives difficult.
However, the clouds soon lifted and the sun came out, allowing Willem to capture some superb photos.
The first part of his gallery can be found by clicking on this link, and today we present the second half of his stunning portfolio.
Londolozi is a birders’ paradise – here is a Lappet-face Vulture sitting on a branch of a dead tree. We were also fortunate to see the rare white-headed vulture in flight.
Leopards are not very relaxed animals, especially with vehicles around. This male (Maxim’s male) in particular is not very comfortable with the vehicles as you can see in the photo. A fist sighting of him for us – interesting dark hair colour he has. Apparently he comes from outside Londolozi (east, in the Kruger Park) and has been establishing territory in Londolozi itself. On this particular morning he had a brief encounter with the Flat rock male – the resident male of this area. Very interesting to see (and especially hear next to the vehicle) the behaviour of both leopards.
This is the Flat Rock male during the encounter mentioned above. Luckily it was possible for Byron to put us in a spot where we could get a low angle photo of him approaching us as he was and scent-marking.
A very interesting sighting during one of the game drive – the young and inexperienced Ximungwe young male leopard was stalking an impala close to camp. We stayed back so that we did not interfere with the hunt. Unfortunately alarm calls were raised by the rest of the herd. The leopard gave up on the stalk and decided to walk through the grass towards the Sand River. A male wildebeest followed the leopard keeping a watchful eye on his movements. At one stage he actually chased the leopard into the thick bushes.
Yet another great sighting of a female leopard we haven’t seen before, the Ndzanzeni female – on the edge of the eastern part of Londolozi. She was very relaxed and provided us with very interesting opportunities for photos. What is important is anticipation of what might happen next, putting your vehicle in the right spot …. and waiting. A few times she fooled us and we had to drive back and re-evaluate the movements. This time I was able to capture her in some of the last light of the day as she was walking towards us.
At the end our patience and anticipation paid off with her – we saw a fallen tree close by. We hoped and anticipated that she would jump up to get a better view of her immediate environment and we positioned ourselves accordingly – and she did. What a great sighting!
Afterwards she walked towards a well known big Mahogany tree, jumped up into it and rested for a while. After about 10 minutes she decided to move on – here she is getting ready to get down from the tree, and lapping at a small pool that was contained in the fork.
My favourite leopard of Londolozi – the Mashaba female. Since our first visit in 2015, she has provided us with a lot of sightings, photo opportunities and entertainment. It is just appropriate to conclude this trip report of a photo of her. She was mating with a male leopard in a drainage line and after sunset she came back to feed on the kill in the tree.