With each passing week, we can feel the bush transforming towards summer. We experienced our first bit of rain for the season which we welcomed with arms wide open after a period of extremely warm and uncharacteristic weather for this time of year. The early morning and late afternoon light is still soft and adds a stunning glow to many of the pictures this week, running as a constant theme in many scenes. But over and above that we have a lot of exciting news this week.
Firstly, the Birmingham Male is back and looking as good as he has ever. He is now moving around with the Nkuhuma Male, a direct offspring of the Birmingham Male coalition whether this Birmingham Male is his father or uncle, there seems to be a strong bond between the two. We look forward to following this story as it all unfolds.
Secondly, on a recent morning game drive, Robbie Ball managed to find two pangolins with their tails intertwined. With a slight suspicion as to what might be happening, it was only upon doing some research that it turns out they were in fact mating. Such a unique and rare sighting to have witnessed, however, hugely promising.
We see a number of different leopards all providing us with incredible sightings. The Ximungwe Young Male, often being found by himself now as we soon discover his mother is off mating with the Senegal Bush Male. These are some promising signs for her and potentially having another brood of cubs, while daunting for the Young Male who will soon need to take on life as an independent young male leopard. The Three Rivers Female turns up after a period of being rather scarce and seems to be pushing her territory a lot further south into Dudley. The Flat Rock Male still controls the majority of the north but occasionally is seen just south of the Sand River.
Let us know your favourite image in the comments section below.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The Ximungwe Young Male is one of the more frequently viewed leopards on Londolozi, with his independence rapidly approaching, we wonder where he will end up.
A single cub of the Ximungwe Female's second litter. Initially rather skittish but is very relaxed now. Birth mark in his left eye.
With the sun rising through a light mist, there was a gorgeous orange hue in the air surrounding this giraffe female.
The Birmingham Male is back and looking as good as ever. He has been spending his time in teh western sector of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve with his son/nephew, the Nkuhuma Male.
Sometimes I find the activity of the oxpeckers around the buffalo herds distracts you from the buffalo themselves. These little birds are quite charismatic.
The buffalo cow was rather curious and wandered up alongside the vehicle. When she turned to face us, we noticed her milky eye. I can’t say for certain what caused it but I doubt she has much vision in that eye.
Two Ntsevu females sit watching a herd of wildebeest up ahead.
The Birmingham Male has been seen for a few consecutive days now. Lets hope he stays.
Two young elephant bulls square off in a playful bout of fighting. Young elephants will use these moments to practice skills necessary for later on in life when they would need to challenge other large elephants for the right to mating with a female in heat.
The Three Rivers Female pauses for a short while on the bank of the Maxabene, allowing us to get eye-level with her.
Forced into early independence as her mother was killed by the Southern Avoca Males.
An adorable young elephant stretches its trunk up while trying to find its mother’s nipple. With its mouth open like this, one can’t help but think that the young one is embracing a cheek-to-cheek smile.
The Senegal Bush Male and Ximungwe Female are mating once again. The Ximungwe Female called relentlessly for the morning until finally, the Senegal Bush Male showed up.
Having been viewed by vehicles from an early age, this leopard is supremely relaxed around Land Rovers.
The start of the next four days… The Ximungwe Female and Senegal Bush Male began their mating affair on the Londolozi airstrip.
In the golden afternoon light, we spotted a squirrel perched on a marula tree catching the last of the sun’s rays. Before we knew it, two smaller squirrels popped out from behind the adult!
While resting in the branches of a large tree, the Ximungwe Female’s face was lit up by the afternoon’s golden light.
Yet another spectacular sunset over the plains of Londolozi, I just couldn’t resist trying to get a snap of this amazing scene.
The Flat Rock Male was found late into the morning drive, still moving about on a territorial patrol. Although the Senegal Bush Male has shifted further north encroaching on the Flat Rock Male’s territory, he seems to be holding out and still ventures south of the Sand River near the Londolozi Camps.
A dominant male leopard over the majority of the north. He originally took over the 4:4 Male's territory when he died.
A once-in-a-lifetime sighting of pangolins mating. No words could aptly describe the significance of this occurrence.
After doing a little bit of research we can almost be sure that these two pangolins were in fact mating. Pangolins are solitary animals. Based on the size of each individual it is unlikely to be a mother and a pup. So therefore it was two adults and the way they were intertwined is believed to be how they mate.
A young male elephant flaps his ear chasing away a few flies. It takes a bit of a stretch of the imagination to see it but with the highlighted parts of the elephant here is a heart shape.
While photographing a few elephants down at the Sand River, I looked up and noticed this tiny little Malachite Kingfisher.
A pair of African Fish Eagles perched on this dead tree made for a fantastic image of the two together.