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
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.
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.
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.