Although we are approaching mid-winter, we have yet to experience the bitterly crisp early mornings nor the constant golden winter light at dusk and dawn. With that being said the weather has been hugely contrasting over the past week, including overcast, blue and golden skies. Along with the array of hues in the sky, came a variety of leopards, prides of lions, birds and dazzling zebras.
On the male leopard front, the Senegal Bush Male surprised us on the way back to camp one morning with an appearance on the airstrip. The Maxim’s Male was found and incredibly relaxed as he rested near a waterhole in the late afternoon. On the female front, the Xinzele Female Duo graced us with an exciting sighting in the North whilst the Stone Drift Female continued roaming her mother’s domain looking to claim a territory of her own.
Onto the lions, whilst the newest additions to the Ntsevu Pride are growing in both size and stature, their fathers, the Ndzhenga Males, continue patrolling their territory and in doing so protecting their offspring and pride. The Tsalala Female has been roaring in and around the Sand River near camp every morning and the Talamati Pride continues with their relatively nomadic existence, roaming Londolozi and the surrounds with no male coalition to anchor them.
Unlike the previous week, I saw fewer elephants on the reserve, making this a predator-dense week in pictures. It was completed with a sighting of a pack of wild dogs at sunset and a young male cheetah in the southwestern grasslands.
Let me know your favourites in the comments section below.
Enjoy This Week In Pictures…
A typical early afternoon scene with zebras and impalas looking to quench their thirst at a waterhole.
The young male cheetah that has been roaming the reserve of late pauses temporarily atop a termite mound to assess his options.
Early morning sunlight warmly backlights the Talamati Young Male as he follows the rest of his pride.
A small dazzle of zebra elevated above us at eye level gives us a unique and amazing perspective.
A rare opportunity to photograph the Maxim’s male up close whilst he was gazing over a waterhole in the late afternoon.
Fairly skittish male that is presumed to have come from the Kruger National Park.
On our way back to camp we were lucky enough to come across a Spotted Eagle-owl, that was presumably out in search of dinner.
Two lion cubs from the Ntsevu pride wake up in the late afternoon whilst the adults still doze nearby.
A Ndzhenga Male lion soaks up the morning light.
The regal pose of an African Fish Eagle perched in a dead knobthorn tree.
The Senegal Bush Male strikes a powerful pose in an open clearing. A Crested Francolin alarm calling nearby had caught his attention.
Initially seen as a young male in 2016, this leopard only properly established territory on Londolozi in mid-2019
The Stone Drift Female glances distantly over our vehicle in the direction of a herd of impala.
Also young and playful but rather with a spot pattern of 3:2. She is slightly bigger than her sister.
Momentarily after vocalising, the Xinzele Female sees another leopard approaching in the distance.
A small female often found in NW Marthly. Similar spot pattern to her mother the Ingrid Dam Female.
We don't know much about this leopard.
To the Xinzele Female’s relief, it was her cub approaching. The two locked eyes with each other as a clan of hyenas milled about at the base of this Marula tree.
A lone wild dog looks for the rest of his pack moments after an attempted hunt.
The Senegal Bush Male crosses the airstrip as a ray of late morning light catches his golden coat.
Whilst other species of kingfishers such as the commonly known woodland species have migrated northwards to warmer climates, their brown-hooded relatives continue to grace us with their elegant demeanour and eye-catching colours.
The Tsalala Female perches upon a fallen marula tree with an evidently full belly.
After roaring nonstop for almost an hour from an open clearing, potentially looking for a mate, the Tsalala female descends a fallen over Marula tree to rest.
The latest additions to the Ntsevu Pride bound through short grass whilst their mother keeps a beady eye on them. If you look carefully you’ll notice the third lion cub hiding in the shadows of its mother.