Without a doubt this week has seen some great sightings of the large cats, where the Ndzhenga Males and Ntsevu Females have dominated the lion sightings. Having firmly moved in, the Ndzhenga Males are laying claim to the females and have apparently been seen mating with at least one female. If this is the case we could probably begin to expect some more lion cubs to be born in roughly four months.
The Three Rivers Female and her young male cub have also been seen a few times and provided great photographic opportunities. The cub is growing rapidly and its adventurous spirit makes the sightings that much more worthwhile.
The birdlife has also been a treat this week, from White-backed Vultures, Lilac-breasted Rollers to the Yellow-throated Longclaw, Marsh Owl and Wahlberg’s Eagle.
To top off the large cat sightings we enjoy a magnificent scene of a large male cheetah resting on a fallen marula tree.
The Summer greenery is still showing up strong and creating a fantastic green bouquet in most of the pictures.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
Now that they have claimed the territory, the Ndhzenga Males are infiltrating the Ntsevu Pride with the hopes of siring their own cubs in the coming months.
With the arrival of the new males in town, the Ntsevu Lionesses have taken a little bit of time adjusting to their presence, and now this one female has been seen alongside a male for the last ten days or so. Here she is lying in the long grass in a large clearing about 40m from the male.
The stunning colours of the Lilac-breasted Roller will never get boring.
Shortly after chasing a squirrel up this branch of a dead tree, the young male paused to sniff the branches of the tree.
Returning to South Africa in order to breed, the Wahlberg’s Eagle will often re-use the same nesting site for successive years.
A herd of impala run past the vehicle in a hurry to get to the top of the crest before settling down for the evening.
With all of the rain that we have had over the last couple of months, there are plenty of temporary waterholes that have filled up around the reserve. These have been welcomed by all animals big and small but especially larger species. This bull enjoyed the latter hours of the afternoon wallowing in an attempt to cool off.
The striking colouration of the Three Rivers Female amongst the lush green grass made for some stunning scenes.
Forced into early independence as her mother was killed by the Southern Avoca Males.
The Three Rivers Female’s Cub has grown in curiosity, as it moved around ahead of its mother exploring.
After a beautiful drinks stop in the southwestern grasslands, we were lucky enough to come across numerous marsh owls flying around looking for rodents that were active after a day of rain. This one stopped on the road for a quick drink which was a unique sighting and a first for me.
Not letting her out of his sight, a Ndhzenga Male, followed the female as though he was her shadow for a good majority of the morning.
A very large herd of elephants casually moves through a large clearing feeding as they go.
We were lucky enough to join a sighting of this male cheetah holding a regal pose on a fallen marula just before he descended and began stalking a wildebeest calf that he had seen from this vantage point. Unfortunately for him the herd of wildebeest saw him from a distance away and he was unsuccessful in his endeavour.
Leading its mother down the road the Three Rivers Cub licks his lips and the bright pink tongue adds a new dynamic of colour to this picture.
In amongst bouts of rain, the sun would appear between the clouds, allowing this vulture an opportunity to dry off its wings.
Sniffing out a spot that a squirrel had been perched on just moments before this cub launched into the tree.
Now with a firm grip on a portion of Londolozi as their territory, the Ndhzenga Males scent-mark profusely as they move around, advertising that they are now in control.