Our Londolozi airstrip, a place where many of our guests’ safari experience begins upon their arrival, is situated within minutes from our camps. From the moment guests step off the plane, there is an immense sense of excitement for what’s to come.
With some recent guests, on our first-afternoon game drive, we got to witness an incredible sighting of lions mating on our Londolozi Airstrip.
Mating lions is always an intense situation, and this particular encounter between this Ndzenga male and Ntsevu lioness on the airstrip was a sighting I will not forget.
As explained in another blog, when a pair of lions unite ready to mate, they will remain together for a period of three to five days, initially mating every 15-20min with rest intervals increasing as the days go on. In this particular sighting on the airstrip, we sat with these animals for over an hour and luckily got to watch them mate three times. Sitting at the airstrip witnessing these majestic animals on the tarmac and watching the afternoon light start to fade was something very unique.
A brief pause standing in the wind as this Ndzhenga Male stares back down the airstrip from where he’s come.
The Memorable Moments!
So it got me thinking about what other memorable sightings the Londolozi team has had at the airstrip, and boy oh boy have we witnessed some remarkable sightings recently! I hope you enjoy this collection of images below…
We’ve also had leopards mating on the airstrip! The Ximungwe Female and Senegal Bush Male began their mating affair on the airstrip apron.
Three Ntsevu Sub-adults rest on the northern end of the airstrip, warming up in the sun’s rays before moving on for the day.
The calm before the storm. Five members of a wild dog pack scan their surroundings from an elevated area just as the sun is starting to dip towards the horizon.
The remaining Tsalala female stops to observe a panicked herd of impalas fleeing ahead of her. This young female has so far exceeded anyone’s expectations and seems to be thriving. Hopefully, she can continue to stay out of the way of the myriad pockets of lions that are roaming the surroundings.
With such intent, this large breeding herd of elephant walked across the Londolozi airstrip at pace before disappearing into the combretum thickets
A female giraffe staring off into the distance at the Tsalala female on the northern end of the airstrip.
Kyle and Jerry’s positioned their guests perfectly for a walk-by from the Senegal Bush Male as he crossed the airstrip.
The three Ndzhenga Males entertained us for a couple of hours one morning as they patrolled through the reserve and up onto our airstrip.
A large elephant bull with a broken left tusk walks across the airstrip at midday.
Ranger Kirst Joscelyne and her guest line up to get the iconic shot of a giraffe crossing the airstrip.
Once again the airstrip provided a great opportunity for an open, clean image. This time, two giraffes were the stars of the show as they gently necked each other. We positioned ourselves at a distance and enjoyed a great view.
The Ximungwe Female provides the iconic photo as she crosses the airstrip. The rangers spent most of our morning following her as she lead them in many different directions but it was all worth it when they got to capture this image and ultimately get led to where she was keeping her cub.
Less than five minutes from camp we found fresh lion tracks and after following them for a couple of minutes came across a portion of the Nstevu Pride and this Birmingham Male lying on the airstrip in the early morning light.
This Hyena waits and listens in the early purple light of an overcast morning to hear if there are any potential alarm calls in the area, we were doing the exact same thing.
The Nkoveni Female crosses the airstrip with a vast expanse of wilderness beyond her.
The majestic Othawa Male rests on the airstrip after patrolling deep into the Birmingham Males’ territory.
Photographic opportunities of this male couldnt get much better than this.
Both animals that enjoy the more open grassy areas, wildebeest and zebra are often found close to the airstrip where they can feast on the short palatable grass as well as utilise the open space to see danger approaching from a distance away. A good place to spend the night.
Knowing that many herds of impalas and other general game enjoy the airstrip, the wild dogs seem to often pass through the area hoping to catch themselves another meal.
A phenomenal scene of a cheetah scanning the surrounding grasslands as the sun was rising in the background.
To finish off we enjoy an iconic photograph from many years ago of the Tsalala Pride, a herd of Elephants and the legendary Kinky-Tail Mapogo Male in the foreground. This male, and his late-brother Satan, were the fathers of the Breakaway Tsalalas.
So if you happen to land at our airstrip on your next visit, who knows what magic we’ll get to witness right behind camp during your stay!
Thanks Denise. What amazing sightings you have had too on our airstrip – hopefully you will be able to add to your own airstrip memory log on your next visit!