Although temperatures are beginning to drop rapidly, we have been blessed with another bout of rainfall, helping top up all the waterholes, saturate the soils and cause the seep lines to flow again. All of which will hold us in great stead as we enter the drier winter.
This week has been filled with a number of surprises, leopards have been around every corner and taken centre stage with some great sightings this week. The Nhlanguleni Female and her cubs have moved to yet another den, this one is one that she has used in the past and is relatively easy to get a vehicle to. This doesn’t guarantee that the mother will be there or that you will get a view of the cubs, but if you do it is always worth it. While still on the leopard front, the Nkuwa Female was seen a few mornings ago, revealing her belly with very fresh sucklemarks. This is incredibly exciting as we believe she has given birth to her first litter of cubs near the Londolozi boundary, furthering the Sunsetbend Lineage.
Often an ‘unrealistic’ request from seasoned safari-goers, is to see a pangolin. I say unrealistic in the sense that it would not be the most reasonable use of one’s time to search for a pangolin on a game drive as they are incredibly difficult to find, the only time we see them is when we accidentally stumble across one out in the open. This happened a handful of times this week and indeed satisfied everyone’s desire to see a pangolin.
Let us know your favourite image in the comments section below.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The Nkuwa Female is seen for the first time with fresh suckle marks on her stomach. This leopardess is attempting to raise her first litter and was seen presumably hunting in the golden light that welcomes the upcoming winter.
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.
We’ve recently had the pleasure of seeing several pangolins around Londolozi. They have caused quite a stir while out on game drive as these are sightings not to be missed.
As the pangolin rests in the grass, it allowed for an opportunity to take a closer look at the details of its scales.
The Ximungwe female searches the boughs of a nearby Marula tree as she searches for her cub. The young male meanwhile, was playing around the edges of a nearby waterhole. It took another 45 minutes before she finally found the precocious youngster.
Having been viewed by vehicles from an early age, this leopard is supremely relaxed around Land Rovers.
An elephant cow caught in the early morning light with a dark backdrop allowed for some creative juices to flow.
Another glimpse into the life of a mother leopard and her cub. The Nhlanguleni Female rests on a rock as the inquisitive young cub moves around playing with her tail.
Initially skittish she spent a lot of time in the Sand River, now relaxed she makes up the majority of leopard viewing west of camp.
In amongst the play time there is always a moment for affection.
Then straight back to playtime.
And to finish off a moment where they both look back towards the vehicle.
An impressive view of a Lappet-faced vulture, allowing for a great look at its enormous beak and bald head.
This male cheetah leaps into a fallen marula tree to scan his surroundings for quite some time. Although we are heading into winter and as the grasses become shorter a fallen over the tree is a perfect spot to get some elevation to look above the long grass for any potential prey or danger.
From the elevated position the cheetah scans around with its intense amber eyes.
Two of the Ndhzenga male coalition lie almost identical to each other. Both of their attention was caught at the same time by rutting impalas in the not too far distance.
Two White-backed Vultures squabble over the remains of a carcass.
A young elephant calf seeks shelter from the rain from her mother. Over the past week we had some welcomed but persistent rain, this will help with a last little flush of green before the dry season.
Only a shadow on the road as we approached, our hearts caught in our throats as the Ximungwe Female emerged from the thick morning mist.
An impressive zebra stallion looks into the distance as another harem of zebra approaches.
Growing into a fine-looking young male leopard, the Ximungwe Young Male looks back over his shoulder from within a fallen marula tree.
A single cub of the Ximungwe Female's second litter. Initially rather skittish but is very relaxed now. Birth mark in his left eye.
After all the late rain we have had the waterholes are brimming and this hippo bull has secured himself a prime spot for now.
The Ximungwe Female and her young male ‘cub’ played around on this fallen marula tree. Ranger Jess Shillaw and her guests watched on from behind.
The seldom-seen Maxim’s Male crosses the road ahead of us shortly after sunrise. Initially one of the most skittish leopards around, he is starting to relax around the vehicles and allow us the time to view him for more than just a fleeting glimpse.
Fairly skittish male that is presumed to have come from the Kruger National Park.