Life, and an abundance of it!
After another downpour of rain, the animals, both big and small, have been thriving on the reserve. From the young wildebeest calves and impala lambs frolicking in the morning sunshine, to thousands of reproductive alates emerging from termitaries causing a feeding frenzy; life has been abundant at Londolozi.
The Sand River has been in flood, meaning that animals such as wild dogs who would usually attempt to cross the river at times, have been stuck on one side for a few days whilst the torrent flows. Territorial animals such as the various leopards on the reserve have been out and about scent marking after the rain washed away previous messages left behind and elephants have been searching for marula fruits after a year of patiently waiting for these delicious fruits.
An array of animals feature in this weeks TWIP, highlighting the variety of species that are in the spotlight at this time of year, with beautiful green hues in the background and at times moody clouds in the sky. The Ntomi male yet again features; how much longer will he be around his mothers territory? The Xinzele female’s cub features too – one of only two cubs on the reserve who are still very much dependent on their mothers.
Enjoy this week in pictures…
A Southern Ground Hornbill soars from a dead knobthorn tree to the rest of his flock who were foraging in the grass down below.
The Xinzele female raises her tail whilst walking, the white tip of which resembles a white flag of surrender. Leopards will often do this once they have been spotted by birds or animals in the area who have sounded the alarm at their presence. The idea is that she acknowledges that she has been seen and there is no need for the animals to continue alarm calling as she is not attempting to hunt them.
A small female often found in NW Marthly. Similar spot pattern to her mother the Ingrid Dam Female.
Summer is a time of plenty, most of the female wildebeest have given birth to young. Here, a large herd of them cautiously scan the area for any potential danger
An aggressive face-off between two zebra stallions. Biting is one method of aggression that Zebra stallions will use to fight one another. You can see a clear bite mark under the right eye of the stallion on the left.
Three hungry hyena cubs doze off as they patiently await the return of their mother, or another adult from their clan, who will hopefully bring back some scraps off food for them.
A young hippo bull fixes his gaze on us in the late afternoon. With the river rapidly rising from heavy rains and then steadily subsiding, the movement of hippos in the river has been fairly erratic.
A yellow-billed oxpecker lets off its harsh chirp whilst perched on the neck of a Cape Buffalo
The Ntomi male lies comfortably in the branches of a Marula tree. Since becoming independent, he hasn’t ventured too far out of his mother’s original territory, however it’s a matter of time before she, or his father; the Senegal Bush Male, tolerate his presence any longer.
A single cub of the Ximungwe Female's second litter. Initially rather skittish but is very relaxed now. Birth mark in his left eye.
A Giraffe takes shelter from the warm sun under a beautiful Marula Tree in the open grasslands.
The Xinzele female’s cub glances down at her mother from the fork of a marula tree in which she herself (the young cub) had hoisted a steenbok kill (that had been made by her mom).
Often overlooked, the greater blue eared starling is one of the more common birds on the reserve. If light from the sun hits the feathers just right, a beautiful turquoise iridescent shine is given off.
The Three Rivers Female and her now sizeable cub ‘playfully’ fighting on top of a fallen over Marula tree.
A large elephant bull pauses temporarily whilst walking across an open clearing in search of fruits from the Marula tree. The late afternoon cloud build-up adds quite a dramatic effect.
An Ntsevu lioness fixes her gaze upon a herd of wildebeest in the distance, but luckily for the wildebeest she had feasted the night before and therefore chose to rather see out the rest of the day in the shade.
A pack of wild dogs stake out a route to try and cross the Sand River. They had run all the way along the Northern bank looking for points to cross but eventually decided that the risk wasn’t worth the potential reward.
A yellow-billed stork and a young elephant, a not-so-unlikely duo. The two species will often be seen feeding in and around riverbeds, catering for their respective diets.
The distress call of a zebra had caught the attention of five members of the Talamati pride. The future of this pride remains uncertain and their movements continue to be erratic
A Yellow-billed Kite joins in on the feeding activity at a termite emergence along with eagles, swallows and an array of other birds and animals.