Having previously shared with you a selection of top 5 sightings at Londolozi, I would like to continue the list and present the final five. As mentioned in the previous post, I would have liked to have kept to it a simpler top five but couldn’t resist adding an additional five.
Once again, in no particular order, the last five bucket list sightings at Londolozi…
There are few places in the world that you can view leopards in the way you can at Londolozi and to be honest, this whole list could be filled with different leopard sightings; all rather unique to this area. Elusive, shy, and strictly solitary by nature, leopards are seldom seen with one another. So having two, just a few meters from you, engage in something so seldom seen by humans, with an electric atmosphere of aggression and passion taking over; it’s difficult to beat.
A Pride of Lions Walking Past the Vehicle
The Ntsevu Pride, at its strongest numbered 21 lions. Imagine having 21 lions walk right past the Land Rover, so close that you can hear their paws scuffing the coarse sand beneath their feet as they take their steps. A pride doesn’t wander aimlessly. They move with a great deal of purpose and intent that can be felt as they pass you by. As a unit, they look unstoppable. The lionesses will be scanning the surroundings for potential hunting opportunities while the younger members maybe stalk and tackle one another between the adults legs. And aside from the occasional glance, they do this all without even paying us the slightest bit of attention; completely undisturbed by our presence and going about their activity as if we weren’t even there; an illustration of the harmony we have with these animals.
An Elephant Herd at Finfoot Crossing
Elephants love water. They drink and shower themselves in mud and water nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. Each individual, from the oldest matriarch down to the youngest calf, visibly gets excited when the herd approaches the river. Finfoot Crossing is a point in the Sand River, less than a kilometre from camp, where large herds of elephants can be seen enjoying this age-old pastime of theirs. This crossing point of the river can, on its own, be an amazing place to spend time and if you are lucky enough to encounter an elephant herd there and spend some time with them, you’re bound to have several other animals wandering into the area too.
A Leopard Hoisting a Kill into a Marula Tree
Strength, power, balance, ingenuity, instinct – the essence of a leopard. Watching a leopard pull a carcass, that can often weigh more than themselves, into the branches of a tree is quite simply jaw-dropping. It is this unique capability that gives them their extra edge in this competitive environment and allows them to be as successful as they are. We can’t be picky here but a Marula tree is often the ideal tree to watch them perform this feat. With the open branches and tall trunks, you’ll get a full, uninterrupted display of this masterclass in survival.
Wild Dogs Hunting
The best way I can describe following wild dogs on the hunt is that it’s like being on a rollercoaster – sometimes quite literally as we get up to some unruly speeds trying to keep up with them! It’s an exhilarating experience. Not to mention that just seeing these rare carnivores is something quite special in itself. The tempo that they operate with on a hunt is almost tangible and often requires an icy gin and tonic afterward to settle the nerves.
Bonus #2: Sunrise at Ximpalapala Koppie