Once again this week we are spoilt with an array of winter varieties provided by the magnificent Londolozi bushveld. We had some amazing sightings of the Ximungwe Female and her cub, accompanied by the Senegal Bush Male, and were even lucky enough to see the Ximungwe Young Male again as he spent a couple of days in the northern parts of the reserve.
The Wild dogs are now an integral part of the experience at Londolozi this winter and provide some spectacular opportunities to spend the game drives with them, as they grow into healthy young sub-adults.
The Plains Camp Males are making a name for themselves as they are becoming more and more of a feature throughout the reserve, not yet ready to take over but they are beginning to push the boundaries as we have found them calling and advertising their presence on a number of occasions.
Lastly, we were lucky enough to find some unusual guests this week in the form of a very relaxed honey badger and her youngster.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The shaded backdrop of the entrance to the den adding contrast to this image accentuating the young wild dog pup’s bright coat.
Symmetry is one thing that catches the human eye, here a large rhino bull is perfectly head-on. But there is a slight twist with the oxpecker sitting off to the rhino’s right-hand side.
Inquisitive and alert, probably two words that could easily describe the wild dog pups at the moment.
An interesting view of a leopard in the distance, the Senegal Bush Male, resting in the top branches of a marula tree after having stolen a carcass from the Ximungwe Female and her cub.
Initially seen as a young male in 2016, this leopard only properly established territory on Londolozi in mid-2019
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A Nstevu Sub-adult, roaming confidently ahead of the rest of his siblings in amongst their natal pride’s territory. I wonder how much longer these sub-adults are going to be around, or whether they will move on to start their own coalition.
Fork-tailed Drongo’s are drawn into the movement of any larger animals as this will flush any insects in the grass and vegetation. The Drongos then swoop in to catch the fleeing insects.
Watching her cub wander off into the distance, the Ximungwe Female definitely has her hands full raising this young male cub.
Having been viewed by vehicles from an early age, this leopard is supremely relaxed around Land Rovers.
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The Plains Camp Males have been making themselves known through Londolozi over the last few weeks. Not yet actively challenging for the territory, they are certainly growing in confidence as they begin to give off full-blown calls. They are still wary of the surrounding males but I am sure it is just a matter of time before something begins to shift.
The bigger Plains Camp Male glances back at his brother with the morning sunshine backlighting the two.
Probably one of my favourite animals, here it was unusual to see this very relaxed Honey Badger out and about foraging during the mid-afternoon. There was infact a second one hidden in a thick clump of vegetation nearby, most likely the youngster of this female, known as a ‘kit’.
Elegantly placed atop a granite boulder in the Manyelethi riverbed the Ximungwe Young Male looks down towards a flock of guineafowl. Recently being seen on a number of occasions in the northern parts of the reserve, within the Flat Rock males territory. He is still nomadic and is buying time before he will attempt to challenge for a territory of his own.
An inquisitive young male that has been pushed further north by the Senegal Bush Male.
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A long-crested eagle perches proudly on a dead knobthorn tree, these eagles have denser vegetation such as forests as their preferred habitats, for that reason, we don’t often see them at Londolozi making this sighting even more special.
Being in the heart of winter, we have had very little rain over the past couple of months, resulting in the waterholes drying up and competition for the remaining waterholes skyrocketing. This older bull hippo has to find solitude in a pan system where he can live out his twilight years away from more dominant bulls.
There is something special about the airstrip and a winter’s morning. Almost an illustration with the birds surrounding these two perfectly silhouetted giraffes as they spent half an hour demonstrating their courtship behaviour.
Coming to the party were a number of juvenile Scarlet-chested Sunbirds. Sometimes difficult to identify, but their long distinct bill makes them stand out amongst the other sunbirds found at Londolozi.
The Senegal Bush Male pauses for a while while trailing the Ximungwe Female.
Warming up in the late afternoon sunshine, this pup lays at the entrance to the den, underneath the intricate root system of the large Weeping Boer-bean tree that towers above it.
Hello, every now and then I receive the blog news as soon as I switch on my mobile and this is the case. Wonderful pictures in the winter golden light: this could be the main theme. At the University ,among the animals we had lessons about there was the Drongo. It is a smart bird not as colourful as others but very interesting. Needless to say that the rhino is the winner but I do like all pictures really. The power and at the same time the frailty of the hippo bull, the honey badger’s smile are a bonus. Big cats are as beautiful as always but even more in the golden light. Love the giraffe they are so elegant
Once again a lot of stunning foto’s Sean. Loved the leopards and it looks like the Senegal bush male keeps on stealing the female leopards kill. Ximungwe male cub is so beautiful and he must just watch out for the Senegal bush male. Plains camp male lions are stunning and hope there won’t be any fights in the future. Puppies are really growing so big and very inquisitive little dogs. Haven’t seen a lot of fotos of Honey badgers, but I do remember the one that Pete and I think it was Guy that help rescue one that was stuck in the root of a tree, they even gave him some water to drink out of a bottle.
It’s all good that Kunyuma comes to see his leopard family but no good he stole their food. Thanks for the cool pictures. I enjoy them on Fridays.
Sean, stunning pictures, especially the Rhino. The honey badger shot is great just to recognize that they are around and not lost to Londolozi. TWIP is another wonderful video safari , Thanks!
I cannot pick a favorite photo today! There are SO many terrific shots! Your honey badger photo was superb—usually so difficult to get! Loved the giraffe silhouette, the leopard photos, and that rhino with accompanying oxpecker! The wild dog puppies—well, that is a no brainer— you have to love those! Fantastic TWIP!
So many fantastic photos, favourite has to be the rhino and ox-pecker – and as for that sweet little honey badger …
A bright beginning to my Friday was opening your blog this morning. So varied in content, impossible to choose a favorite, but the honey badger 🦡 was a stand-out. Since the Ximungwe young male is basically on his own, when will he be given a name?
Terrific TWIP again. Not often you see the words “relaxed” and “honey badger” together – definitely my ambition to see one, relaxed or otherwise! How old do you estimate the Plains Camp males are, and any idea of their history?
Another week of wonderful photos, Sean. The plains camp lions look gorgeous and so does the Ximungwe young male.
I love Chris’s photo of the rhino with the oxpecker. And I love all the other photos as well, of course.
It’s just great to be able to follow the development of those special animals from the distance. And, oh, the wild dog pub is so cute!
Another wonderful week in pictures! I loved the power of the rhino and the intensity of the long crested eagle photos. But my favorite has to be that honey badger. What a treat to see. In the process of Identifying animals on zooniverse ( many enjoyable lockdown hrs) I only ever came across one short film clip of a honey badger. So thanks for sharing your photo!
Brilliant photos this week, everyone! Can’t name a fav – they’re all special. Thank you!
Is there just 2 Plains Camp males?
Great collection of photos this week Londolozi team! Great to see the Ximungwe Female doing well with her current cub and interesting that her previous son is doing well as well! Is the Ximungwe Female the only leopardess that the Senegal Bush Male has potentially sired cubs with or are there other females within his territory?
The expression on the face of the badger is perfection.
Sean, Spectacular images as always! We love the close up of the Rhino, the Giraffe silhouette and super-rare Honey Badger!
A wonderful game drive for those of us who wish we were there to share! The wild dog pups are always great to see and to follow the pack on a hunt is exhilarating ! The honey badger was a treat as i don’t think we ever saw one! Thank you!!! Victoria
A really great TWIP Sean. Excellent pics and the rhino one stood out. Loved the giraffes in the sunset also. Every time I see the wild dogs I have to have a bit of a laugh at their huge ears – even the pups have big ears. All the better to hear you with as the sayng goes. Thanks for sharing, all good.
I have so many photos that I added as my favorites. I really do like the Rhino and the Honey Badger. I enjoy the leopards for their beautiful colors in the sun. The lions tell a story by there presence in their walking, sitting, or listening. Thanks for the photos this week.
How many wild dog pups down in the southern area den now?
Awesome pics this week! Absolutely love the pic of the rhino!!! 👌🏼 I also love the honey badger, don’t often see that!
What fabulous photographs Sean. Some real gems. Can’t decide between the giraffe, rhino or badger. Certainly the latter is a lot more relaxed than the one Peter and Guy saved last year. That was epic and very brave !! Thanks as always for another wonderful week in pictures 🙏❤️