Following on from Londolozi’s incredible TWIP #600 milestone last week, has me overwhelmed with all kinds of feelings of gratitude, respect, pride and inspiration for being part of the contributing team today. As reflected in the video, the weekly TWIPs present a journal celebrating the diversity of life and beauty surrounding us here in the heart of the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve.
As we reflect on the past week, we’ve all been fortunate with an assortment of wildlife and activity across the reserve; from predators and prey to an abundance of large herds of elephants and buffalos, to birds and everything in between. On the predator front, the Ntomi Male traverses within his mother’s territory having not yet been driven out by any of the larger dominant males. The Kangela Male made a rather unique and relaxed appearance on Londolozi. On the lion front, the two remaining Ndzhenga Males continue to spend time interacting with the Ntsevu Pride and cubs as they continue to entertain us with their playful, restless antics.
Let’s not forget a fantastic morning following a pack of wild dogs not too far from camp across the rolling hills and clearings.
Let me know your favourites in the comments section below.
Enjoy This Week In Pictures…
Nothing beats time spent with baby elephants. This calf became the perfect subject to photograph as it flapped its ears forward and danced around our vehicle.
High key black and white image of a mother and young calves walking across one of our open crests. I particularly like how the mother’s head and trunk frame the calf as she leads the way.
Our wintery, crisp mornings create a beautiful warm backdrop as we spent a morning exploring the open grasslands of Londolozi.
We have entered a time of year when male ostriches are ready and looking to mate, often ready to perform their mating display known as ‘kantling’ to any females they find within their territory. As a result, the male’s beak and frontal scutes on their tarsus are bright red as a way of trying to look more attractive to the females.
The Ntomi Male quickly climbed a marula tree to avoid direct confrontation with a few hyenas that were moving through the area.
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 Ntsevu Lionesses spending an entire day resting in a very open clearing with their cubs, we watched in the golden light as the cubs restlessly played with one another.
An adorable stare from one of the Ntsevu Cubs.
Action. Sometimes focusing on the smaller aspects of life, especially around a water hole, can be the most rewarding! We spent a good 10 minutes watching a Hamerkop fishing until it caught a relatively large tilapia.
A representation of the Ndzhenga Coalition. No longer a force of four males, the two remaining brothers bask in the morning sun after a lengthy evening territorial patrol finishing off with a bout of roaring.
First time seeing the Kangela Male! As a nomadic leopard born in December 2019, he is now in search of any vacant land in which to set up a territory. He has only been seen on Londolozi a handful of times but we are sure he will pop up every now and again going forward. In this particular sighting, the golden morning light just starts to break through and illuminate the grass beyond him as he explores what could be new ground for him.
Up close and personal with a pack of wild dogs as we spent a morning where they successfully caught five impalas between the seven in the space of about two hours. An incredible sighting watching these animals doing what they do best!
Whenever we get the chance to see a family of Southern Ground Hornbills, it is always a challenge from a photographic perspective since they are usually foraging in the long grass, or walking away from the vehicle. When I saw them walking towards a road, we patiently waited for the moment they stepped into the open.
No caption is needed for this one. But I will just say that I could sit amongst elephants playfully milling about all afternoon long.
Curiously mischievous Ntsevu Cub was lagging behind the rest of the pride as they weaved their way through a thick area of bush. A moment’s pause as it climbs a fallen over the branch for extra vantage as it watches the rest of the pride up ahead.
A focused stare from the Ntomi Male. No more cub-like features that is for sure!
When you find yourself immersed amongst a few hundred buffalo surrounding the vehicle and a water hole, it can often be overwhelming to try and focus on any one individual to take a photo since there is usually a hive of different activities going on all around you. This image captures a moment three bulls interlocked horns and dug their noses into the mud.
Golden afternoon light perfectly highlighted this female giraffe as she delicately fed on a buffalo thorn tree.
The illusion of stripes with five zebra faces all huddled together as afternoon light creates a glowing halo effect on their manes.
Young elephants have to be one of the most entertaining little animals to watch.
Distinctive ‘whooping’ calls in the distance of a few pack members that ran off in a different direction, grab the attention of this remaining pack member (and us) suggesting the possible success of another hunt not too far away.