Once again another week has come and gone and we can hardly keep track as we rapidly approach summer. The bush is beginning to transform subsequent to some uncharacteristic rainfall for this time of year. Deciduous trees are breaking out in tiny little buds, the dust has settled, and nature is slowly revealing clues that summer is just around the corner.
Predominant warm colours still undertone the majority of this week’s selection where we find a large number of lions featuring. The full complement of the Mhangeni Pride were seen in the Sand River fairly close to camp, AND an Avoca Male and a Ntsevu Female have been seen mating! We have also seen the brief return of the older Ntsevu Cubs before they moved back into the river.
The Ndzandzeni Female leopard has been found a few times in the deep southern reaches of the reserve allowing some great viewing of her two cubs. The Ximungwe Female leopard has been found along the Maxabene River and was once again seen laying in a dead leadwood – a photographer’s dream.
We’ve also managed to capture some bucket-list sightings : elephants in the Leadwood forest, elephants in the Sand River, and an African Yellow White-eye which is an uncommon bird to see here.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
One of the two rapidly growing Nkoveni Female’s cubs rests at the base of a large torchwood tree. Playful and inquisitive by nature these two cubs provide a spectacle when we are able to find them together.
A young female that lives to the east and south of camp. Easily recognised by her 2:2 spot pattern she is often to be found in Marula trees.
The insurgence of the Northern Avoca Males into Londolozi continues. A huge statement was made by this particular male who was found in the central parts of the reserve mating with one of the Ntsevu lionesses.
Confidence is key, this Avoca Male now deep within the Birmingham Males’ territory.
Another Ntsevu Female lying not too far away had lifted her head and began grooming, catching this male’s attention as he was already on edge.
A large male, lit up by gorgeous golden light, slowly ambled over towards us, scent-marked in the large midden near to the vehicle, and then moved on.
Golden bouquet, and a leopard in a tree, some photographers couldn’t ask for better. The Ximungwe Female walks along the length of a dead leadwood branch before descending the tree and moving on for the evening’s missions.
Having been viewed by vehicles from an early age, this leopard is supremely relaxed around Land Rovers.
An evening drink is a must on safari. Often we will choose to stop alongside the Sand River, a crest with a nice view, or at a waterhole to see what visitors we may have. Here a large herd of elephants comes across to drink. Parked at a distance we could watch them closely so that if they started coming towards us we could climb back into the vehicle. They casually had their fill of water before moving on without even having appeared to notice us.
Just a few days ago I wrote a post about the bucket list sightings that one can experience at Londolozi. Featured there was seeing an elephant bull in the leadwood forest. Ironically, I happened to find myself in the right place at the right time and captured this image of a large bull passing under the tall leadwoods.
A brief pause in the ‘V’ of the tree, allows one of the Ndzandzeni Female’s cubs a chance to glance over at its mother and then make the next move climbing higher into a marula tree.
This female is a success story all in herself, being born as a single cub to the Dudley Riverbank female in early 2012.
A bird fluttering around the trees caught our eye with its bright yellow plumage, upon closer inspection we realised that it was in fact an African Yellow White-eye. A bird that is not commonly seen around here at all. It was in a flock of about 6 or 7 birds that moved through that morning and I haven’t seen them since.
The three older Ntsevu cubs are still alive and well. They have spent the last few weeks in the Sand River, making viewing of them tough. On a cold windy morning, they huddle together to keep warm.
A female zebra stands proud out ahead of the rest of the dazzle.
Having found the Ndzandzeni Female’s cubs, the mother was nowhere to be found. Probably resting off in the distance away from them to have a much-needed break. One cub had moved off the rock, stalking some francolin, this cub watches from a boulder before swiftly moving in to assist.
Peering over the top of a fallen tree, the three cubs watch as we drive out of the sighting. The mother resting in the long grass in the background.
On a fairly cool afternoon, we managed to find the Mhangeni Pride down in the Sand River pretty close to camp. Although out in the open, it was tricky viewing as we could not get ourselves too close without risking getting stuck. This would result in receiving the dreaded Pink Pouch.
The younger elephant fixated on the two geese swimming on by out of the elephants’ way.