The last vestiges of winter have been dominated by great sightings of the large cats this week. Delighted to have received early rain this spring, the new growth is not yet strong enough to eliminate winter’s beautiful golden hues.
Nick Sims and Chris Taylor show off a great selection of images where we sunsets, birdlife, and a few large pachyderms, very large mammals with thick skin, are punctuated by a number of different individual leopards as well as a lovely sighting of the Ntsevu Pride as they all line up along the edge of a waterhole to have a drink.
The Ximungwe Female and her cub, being territorial close to camp are seen more often than other leopards and tend to always provide amazing sightings. The Mashaba Female had successfully killed and hoisted an impala carcass, allowing for some great viewing of her over a number of successive game drives. The Nkuwa Female, although fairly scarce of late, was seen in the north while resting in a large Jackalberry tree.
The White Dam Male makes another appearance this week, although not easily identifiable in a silhouetted image he is beginning to feature repeatedly.
And, what would a TWIP be without an image of the Senegal Bush Male, as he patrols his ever-expanding territory.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
A gentle embrace of two young elephants, as the herd clusters together as the heat of the day, begins to build.
After a gusty evening, the Mashaba Female managed to catch a young impala and hoist it into a large marula tree. Upon closer investigation, you begin to notice evidence of spring with the unfurling of new leaves at the tips of each branch.
The Mashaba female is currently Londolozi’s best known leopard. Her relaxed nature means she is comfortable around the camps and vehicles.
A relatively abundant bird at Londolozi, yet one that we cant help resist the urge to capture time and time again, especially when in such great golden light.
The Nkuhuma Pride, being seen more and more often in the north, a single lioness leads seven of the pride’s young cubs down the road towards the rest of the pride, who were feeding on a buffalo carcass. What an amazing sight to see so many little lions scampering down the road towards us!
Now mostly found in the northern parts of the Londolozi, just to the west of the camps, the Nkuwa Female rests in a large Jackalberry tree, glancing up at a circling vulture.
One of two sisters born to the Nhlanguleni female, both of whom made it to independence, the first intact litter to do so in 7 years.
Purple Rollers are the least common resident of the Roller species. Shortly after taking flight, you can see the number of different shades of purple on the underwing.
A large zebra stallion, overlooking the open grasslands as his harem of females heads down towards a waterhole for a drink in the late afternoon golden light.
A pair of Impala Lily flowers in full bloom. Impala lilies flower throughout winter and add a beautiful splash of colour to the otherwise dry landscape, we will probably start to see less and less of the bright pink colours.
The White Dam Male descends a tree as the last hues of orange and red stain the western skyline. Although found in the deep southwestern regions of the reserve, not normally known for finding leopards, with him being found more often maybe we could bank on searching for him a bit more often when in that area.
Large handsome male found in the deep southwestern parts of Dudley
Slowly expanding their territory one of the Avoca Males was found moving through the central parts of the reserve to the east of camp after having spent the duration of the night calling in order to advertise their dominance.
Recently a cold front passed through Londolozi and the residual moisture settled in the lowlands surrounding the Sand River. The following day we were greeted by a spectacular sight as the early morning sun illuminated the thick mist that covered the distant rocky outcrops.
We found this large male meandering over an open crest in the late afternoon. He briefly paused investigating our presence before moving on towards a nearby waterhole.
The Senegal Bush Male scanning the road up ahead. After having spent the day sleeping in a thicket this was at the beginning of his evening patrol.
Initially seen as a young male in 2016, this leopard only properly established territory on Londolozi in mid-2019
The White-headed Vulture, a very attractive bird when having a closer look. Sadly, these critically endangered birds’ numbers are on the decline and are confined only to protected areas.
The Ximungwe Female’s cub stares over at the Senegal Bush Male who had arrived on the scene only moments before.
Shortly after finishing the remains of a large meal the Ntsevu Pride Sub-adults all line themselves up along the edge of a waterhole to quench their thirst.
An amazing sunrise with a pair of giraffes.
A Wood Sandpiper wades through the shallows of the Sand River in search of any small aquatic insects, molluscs, worms, small fish and frogs. One may query where these birds get the ‘wood’ part of their name from, it is in fact due to them nesting in swamps in the forests (a.k.a. woods) of Europe.
The Ximungwe Female is framed perfectly by the branches of this large marula tree as she watches her cub feeding on a duiker carcass.
Having been viewed by vehicles from an early age, this leopard is supremely relaxed around Land Rovers.