This week’s theme has definitely been along the lines of warm golden light, on the dry hues of brown and beige at the back end of our dry season. Although spring has sprung we have not yet seen the transformation that is guaranteed to happen this year after some early rains, we have seen the temperatures soar, and animals flock to the water holes, with a number of animals also found along the river, featuring a lot of water in the shots for the week.
The Northern Avoca Male sits in the most iconic and regal way atop a large boulder, most rangers dream to see this. Leopards feature through the Ximungwe Female, the Nkoveni Female’s cub, the Senegal Bush Male, and the seldom-seen White Dam Male from the deep southwestern reaches.
The Nkuhuma Pride were found feeding on a large buffalo, which kept them well-fed for a while. And lastly, towards the end of last week, a large male giraffe was found dead near the Manyelethi River, with a clan of nearly thirty hyenas feeding on or fighting over it, vultures of course then swarmed in to help with the cleanup and cash in on a free meal.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
Such an iconic shot of a male lion resting on top of a large boulder in the middle of the Sand River. The Avoca Male spent a while perched upon this large boulder as though he was keeping a watchful eye over his territory.
Often not appreciated enough for its beauty, as it is silhouetted against the bright sky during hours of flight. Only really once the Bateleur lands does it truly present its magnificence.
With a sense of despair after the pack of wild dogs that were denning left Londolozi, we were ecstatic when this pack of twelve wild dogs moved through the reserve recently, stopping at a small waterhole for a drink. The reflection of these three was spectacular.
A young elephant makes a tasty feast of some of the green reeds along the Sand River, with such a stunning view of a large rocky outcrop behind.
A Ntsevu Lioness with a stare, seeming somewhat unrelated with the vehicle moving around this lioness certainly had an intense stare.
The simple act of bending down to drink is fairly strenuous for the tallest animal in the world. The long muscles running along the front of this giraffe’s neck work hard against the elasticated nuchal ligament running down the rear of the neck. This ligament is designed to keep the head and neck held out in front of the body with very little energy required. As the giraffe finishes its drink it relaxes these muscles and the nuchal ligament constricts, causing the head to flick backward rapidly. Thus creates an amazing ‘S’ shaped spray of water. In this situation, an oxpecker on the giraffes head also got a fright and took flight.
This morning a beautiful White-fronted Bee-eater, lands on a dead tree branch, eagerly scanning the surroundings for any potential prey.
Such a jovial and excitable team, Andrea and Sersant are all grins while sitting in a sighting with the Senegal Bush Male.
Initially seen as a young male in 2016, this leopard only properly established territory on Londolozi in mid-2019
If only the Senegal Bush Male was as cheerful as the team before him.
After a decent feed, a Ntsevu lioness heads off for a drink in the golden light of the setting sun.
One of the Nkoveni Female’s cubs rests in a flowering Weeping Wattle (Peltophorum africanum). At first glance, it is easy to miss this cub, the perfect camouflage keeping this cub concealed while it rests.
A gorgeous female who is found to the east of camp. Easily recognised by her 2:2 spot pattern she is often to be found in Marula trees.
A large elephant bull pauses to feed on the thin branches of a marula tree during an afternoon amble across a stunning open crest, bathed in the beautiful afternoon light.
A less frequently seen leopard on Londolozi, the White Dame Male is dominant over the deep south-western regions. Being found late one afternoon near to a waterhole it was magical to watch him hunch down and drink.
Large handsome male found in the deep southwestern parts of the reserve.
A Sub-adult Male from the Nkuhuma Pride, rests in the shade, somewhat fixated on the vehicle.
An image that definitely causes one to question the fact that hyenas are closer related to cats than they are to dogs.
After hearing some distant impala alarm calls the Ximungwe Female lifts her head and shortly moved off in that direction.
Having been viewed by vehicles from an early age, this leopard is supremely relaxed around Land Rovers.
Feasting on a large male giraffe carcass can be a messy affair as is shown in this hyenas dirty coat. The next three images are from the end of last week but felt that they tell such a story that we included them.
After having most likely died in a battle of dominance through necking this large male giraffe was found dead with a number of hyenas and vultures around. The cleanup crew is fast-acting, making short work of a carcass weighing in at probably close to 3000lbs.
An unconventional place to take a nap.