The arrival of summer couldn’t be more apparent now, the flush of green replenishes the landscape. Amidst the daytime temperatures, the humidity is swiftly on the rise and hopefully bringing with it a thunderstorm in the not-too-distant future.
The heat forces all across Londolozi to flock to the waterholes and Sand River, to replenish their fluids and cool off. Elephants spend their days dousing themselves in a revitalising and refreshing shower of mud and water.
The abundance of predators this week takes shape on the leopard front with an incredible display of strength and agility as the Senegal Bush Male effortlessly launches himself into the upper reaches of a large tree and Regally rests atop a termite mound shortly after a meal of wildebeest that he had successfully caught himself. The Three Rivers Female shows her grace and beauty in a number of sightings. And there is some great news from the north, the Xinzele Female still has one cub and it seems to be thriving.
The lion dynamics seem fairly constant for the time being, the Ntsevu Lionesses keep roaming around in all sorts of aggregations of mothers and sub-adult females. The stunning Tsalala Lioness has also been seen on the odd occasion, but sadly no longer with the Mhangeni Lioness. The Ndzhenga Males laps up a satisfying amount of water as the afternoon light fades through from gold to orange.
And let’s not forget the wild dogs, a pack of eight spent a few days on the property and the most iconic sighting of them was from the crests opposite Varty Camp as the pack began their evening hunt. And the hyenas as we spend a bit of time at a hyena clan den admiring the cuteness of the young and innocent hyena cubs.
Let us know your favourite image in the comments section below.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
Possibly not even a month old, we watched as this young elephant calf ventured across the river with its mother.
The sheer power, strength and agility of the Senegal Bush Male as he ascends the vertical trunk of a large tree.
Initially seen as a young male in 2016, this leopard only properly established territory on Londolozi in mid-2019
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A Ntsevu Lioness gazes into the distance with a rising sun behind her, holding a beautifully intent posture in the process.
After killing a young wildebeest the Senegal Bush Male lay on top of a termite mound as he digested his meal.
After a hot day, the whole pride of Four Ndzenga Males and 6 Ntsevu Lionesses got up just as the sun was setting on the horizon casting a warm light on their faces as they drank.
Satisfied after quenching their thirst, this herd of elephants then moved on in single file walking past the vehicle.
The Three Rivers Female.
Forced into early independence as her mother was killed by the Southern Avoca Males.
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As the sun began to set one of the wild dogs came to greet and groom one of the other pack members.
Probably my favourite photograph from the afternoon. The way the Three Rivers Female gracefully positioned herself on the fallen branch made me think that she may have used this tree for a rest before…
Male tree agamas will enhance and brighten their blue colour while breeding to attract females.
The Tsalala Lioness rests high up on the famous Plaque Rock in the Sand River. It was a perfect vantage point as she stared into the distance watching a herd of impalas.
The intertwining of these two elephants’ trunks forms part of a deeper greeting ceremony within elephants.
The Tsalala Lioness glares into the Sand River at a sound that we could not hear. I always find it amazing how impressive lion’s senses are compared to ours.
On a hot afternoon, a few buffalo bulls spent time in the Sand River to cool off.
The Senegal Bush Male Watches from atop a termite mound.
The pack of eight wild dogs began hunting on the crest in front of Varty Camp.
A close-up view of the Three Rivers Female.
Young hyenas are born black, they then gradually transition into their adult colouration beginning at the age of around three months.
A baby hyena nuzzles its mother with some affection as she grins baring her teeth.
A young hyena cub peers beneath its mother’s belly towards the vehicle.
The cub of the Xinzele Female, who both spend their time in the northern reaches of Londolozi and beyond have been scarce of late. This week, the Tracker Academy pulled off an incredible full-day track-and-find which gave me only my second view of this youngster who is still quite shy around the vehicles.
There really were some great images this week. Chris’s capture of the Senegal Bush Male ascending the tree is a great display of the strength and power of a male leopard.