It’s week 37 out of 52 in 2016 and the bush continues to deliver each and every day. Every game drive, rangers from Tree, Varty, Granite, Founders and Pioneer Camps head off into different parts of Londolozi and no matter whether it’s north, south, west or east that they go, everyone has a different story to tell when they get back about what they encountered.
I love to come up with a game plan for each drive, and what it is is a carefully thought out blueprint of what I am hoping the morning/afternoon will entail. As we drive out of camp each day I will outline this plan to whoever is seated behind me and it will be something along the lines of where we are going to drive that morning/afternoon and what animals we are going to be looking for. The best part of the whole thing is getting back to camp afterwards and seeing just how different that game drive turned out to be. You see as much as I love planning, I also love getting distracted, and the bush has a lot of welcome distractions!
It may be spending half an hour lying on your stomach photographing impala lilys or watching in amusement as two black crakes chase each other along the banks of the river unaware of your presence. It is these “distractions” that make a safari in my opinion and when you open yourself up to distractions in the bush, that’s when things start happening. If we hadn’t stopped to watch the crakes we wouldn’t have heard the bushbuck alarm call that alerted us to the presence of the Tsalala Pride just a little bit upstream from us, and it was only after admiring the Impala Lily that we noticed the mud-caked rhino returning from the waterhole.
Below you will see a few such ‘distractions’.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
By far the most beautiful and striking piece of vegetation out at the moment – The Impala Lily. 1/640 at f/5,6; ISO 400
Late afternoons present unique opportunities to capture rhino photos around waterholes. This bull heads off after a long wallow in the mud. 1/800 at f/5,6; ISO 400
At no more than 2 months old this baby Giraffe stuck very close to its mother as we waited patiently for the perfect photo opportunity. 1/1600 at f/4,5; ISO 100
The Xidulu Female surveys the Sand River in the south-western reaches of her territory. 1/125 at f/4,5; ISO 200
The Tsalala Pride have spent the whole of the last week moving up and down in the Sand River providing us with fantastic photo opportunities such as this one. 1/160 at f/4,5; ISO 100
“Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing.” – John Donne 1/160 at f/4,5; ISO 100
It’s not often you get to photograph an African Fish Eagle on the ground at such a close range. 1/500 at f/8; ISO 100
The Nkoveni Female was seen regularly this last week when she spent a lot of time lying up in this Jackalberry Tree after successfully hunting a bushbuck and taking it up into the same tree. 1/640 at f/5,6; ISO 400
The Xidulu female stalks an unsuspecting Bushbuck on the banks of the Sand River. 1/500 at f/5,6; ISO 400
Often shy and easily overlooked as they hide in thick riverine vegetation, the black crake’s understated beauty makes an appearance along the Sand River. 1/500 at f/5,6; ISO 160
The Mhangeni Breakaway Pride have been moving around the open areas in the south for the last week. On this particular occasion this young male from the pride eyes out a distant buffalo bull. 1/125 at f/4,5; ISO 250
Spot the leopard! The Nzandzeni Female is in this picture and the challenge is on to see who can spot her. Comment below if you see her. 1/500 at f/4,5; ISO 400
James started his guiding career at the world-renowned Phinda Game Reserve, spending four years learning about and showing guests the wonder of the incredibly rich biodiversity that the Mapuataland area of South Africa has to offer. Having always wanted to guide in the ...