The Week In Pictures has become somewhat of a reflection for us. It is no longer sufficient to simply send out a summation of the previous week in image format. We all (as authors and contributors) feel the need to share learnings and thoughts with you. Maybe that is a reflection of how we all evolve in this magical place, and how it changes us week by week. Sharing a collection of pictures is not as simple as scanning through and picking the best ones. It’s about choosing pieces of ourselves as mini-reflections of who we all were in each moment that was captured.

This week, Rob Crankshaw and I decided to put together a collection of our images as a team. We have been lucky to have had the opportunity to have some of my family to visit, and share in the wild landscapes, animal interaction and general beauty that is our back yard.

In sharing this place with people close to us, we got to take stock of what most people assume is the standard. We had our breath taken away by vivid winter sunsets. We got to see lions so camouflaged in the winter grass that it was impossible not to sink deeply into their way of stalking. We sat quietly with flourishing plains game, bathed in golden light, while we learned about the intricacies of their behaviour – things that just happen, with or without us being there. We experienced the feeling of the temperature changing on our skin as the sun sank below the Drakensberg mountains, and warm sunshine changed to crisp, cool evening air. Our hearts raced along with the others on our vehicle as we tracked and found a pair of mating leopard (one of which we have waited to see for over two years), and we lazily enjoyed the phenomenon of the Safari Sundowner each evening – paying homage to the day, and all that came before us in the bush… a celebration… raising a glass in toast to the bush.

The week was also about getting to know people better – both those we have worked around for several years, and some whom we had just met, and were experiencing not only Londolozi, but the beauty of safari for the first time.

It was restorative and full of all the wonders of the bush. Wonders that never get old. We hope that these photos show the tiny reflections of each of us from the past week.

Enjoy this Week in Pictures…

This shot of three Little Bee-eaters all perched in a row is something I have wanted for a while. We sat for ages as they gracefully flitted around us, coming back to the same perch over and over. We were lucky to also have the sun behind us, and a soft green background that created perfect bokeh. Photograph by Amanda Ritchie ISO 320 f/5.6 1/500

A striking White Fronted Bee-eater, one of the Bee-eater species that we are lucky to be able to view all year round owing to the fact that they do not migrate. Photograph by Amanda Ritchie ISO320 f/5.6 1/200

Often underrated, this handsome male impala was one of many coming to the end of their seasonal territorial challenges known as rutting. The winter sunshine caught all the bright spots on him, casting him in beautiful light. Photograph by Amanda Ritchie ISO 320 f/5.6 1/200

The intricacies of a web of wrinkles. Photograph by Amanda Ritchie ISO 1000 f/5.6 1/400

Plains Zebra allo-grooming.  Along with many other species, these zebra perform a type of mutual grooming that is believed to strengthen bonds, and maintain their hierarchy within the herd. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 800 f/5.6 1/1600

The same herd in a flash of black and white as they moved off. Photograph by Amanda Ritchie ISO 1000 f/5.6 1/640

I always find it difficult to do the live version justice in image format. The Winter sunsets provide beautiful moments for introspection. Photograph by Amanda Ritchie ISO 1000 f/5.0 1/3200

Londolozi Tracker Mike Sithole is someone who we have worked with for over 2 years, but got the opportunity to get to know a little better this week. Mike’s eagle-eyes and tangible passion for what he does was great to witness. Photograph by Amanda Ritchie ISO 1000 f/4.8 1/4000

A low-angle shot of the Tailless female lioness from the Tsalala Breakaway pride. It has been a long time since we have had the opportunity to view this legend of a lioness. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 800 f/5.6 1/800

A yawn often precedes the beginning of hunting activity. Soon after this shot, the Tsalala Breakaway sub-adult female and the Tsalala Tailless female began to move towards a small herd of impala. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 2000 f/7.1 1/1600

In winter, we truly get to appreciate the camouflage of these lions against the grasses. It was fascinating to watch these two females stalk as the light dropped. Photograph by Amanda Ritchie ISO 640 f/5.6 1/320

While we didn’t get to see the cubs clearly, Londolozi Ranger John Mohaud spotted one of the cubs looking down at their mother from Ximpalapala koppie. Can you spot the cub? Photograph by Amanda Ritchie ISO 640 f/5.6 1/400

The Anderson Male, arguably the largest leopard seen on the reserve. We have waited 2 and a half years to see this incredible leopard, and were delighted to have watched him mate with the Nhlanguleni female. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 1000 f/ 8 1/1000

Brilliant winter colours of the Nhlanguleni female leopard scent marking during the mating process. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 1600 f/ 6.3 1/800

Born to the Tutlwa female in early-mid 2011, the Nhlanguleni female spent her formative months (and years) in and around the Sand River.

Nhlanguleni 3:2 Female

Lineage
Sunsetbend
Identification
markings
Timeline
13 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist

A simple portrait of the Nhlanguleni female leopard. She was incredibly persistent (and successful) in her mating attempts. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 1600 f/ 6.3 1/800

The Anderson male leopard is somewhat known for his interesting eyes and intense stare. Following several successful acts of mating, he gave us one last stare before he moved off. Photography by Amanda Ritchie ISO 1250 f/5.6 1/320

9
Anderson 4:4 Male
2008 - present

Unofficially the biggest leopard in the Sabi Sands, the Anderson male is an absolutely enormous individual in north western Londolozi.

Anderson 4:4 Male

Lineage
Unknown
Identification
markings
Timeline
7 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
1 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist

We unexpectedly stumbled upon the Nanga female leopard and her cub whilst on our way to enjoy a sundowner. Her elevated position on a bank provided an eye-level shot, which translated well into black and white. Photography by Rob Crankshaw ISO 2500 f/ 5.6 1/400

8
Nanga 4:3 Female
2009 - present

The Nanga female was born to the Nyelethi 4:4 female in 2009 as part of a litter of three.

Nanga 4:3 Female

Lineage
Saseka Female
Identification
markings
Timeline
16 stories
Territory
maps
Parents
2 known
Litters
4 known
Offspring
known
Siblings
known
Videos
playlist

As we moved round to get a better view of the Nanga female, we spotted her female cub feeding on a kill, tucked away in the long grass. With it being almost dark, it never ceases to amaze me how capable the modern day cameras and lenses are of capturing something almost invisible to the naked eye. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 2500 f/5.6 1/400

One of the many things we enjoy about the winter months is the abundance of flowering aloes and the corresponding abundance of sunbirds that feed on the flowers. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 4000 f/ 10 1/2000

One of the few buffalo bulls that we spent time with this week. We are seeing more and more of them around the riverbed area, and this old male was positioned perfectly for a side-lit portrait. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 800 f/7.1 1/2000

We never take for granted the opportunities we have at Londolozi to enjoy every aspect of nature on our doorstep. We have a small birdbath tucked into the bush in front of our house, which provides endless photographic opportunities- this Blue Waxbill being one of them. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 2500 f/5.6 1/1000

A female Spectacled Weaver looking up into a self-made shower. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 1250 f/6.3 1/800

One of the most beautiful birds to see in the bush, this Purple Crested Turaco queues for its turn to drink and bath. Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 1250 f/5.6 1/320

The daily routine of stopping for a drink at sunset on safari gives us the opportunity for reflection, and a chance to pay homage to all that we have seen that day in the bush. HDRI Photograph by Rob Crankshaw ISO 2000 f/16 1/3200

Written by Amanda Ritchie

Photographed by Rob Crankshaw & Amanda Ritchie

Involved Leopards

About the Author

Amanda Ritchie

Creative Hub Manager

Amanda joined the Londolozi team early in 2015 and immediately took the Londolozi Studio to an exciting new level. Her unflappable work ethic and perfectionism are exemplary, and under her guidance the Studio has become one of the busiest areas on Londolozi. The ...

More stories by Amanda

23 Comments

on The Week In Pictures #287
    evelina scali says:

    Thank You for your continuous and awesome job! We love Africa.. and all the beautiful animals You have !!! Great job guys !!

    Amanda Ritchie says:

    Thank you so much for the comment, Evelina1 It’s really appreciated.

    paul cook says:

    Having made many trips to South Africa when I worked for SAA in NY, I never had the opportunity to stay in Landolozi. But as a travel agent I have put clients there that have come back ecstatic and very pleased. I hope to get there 2018.

    Amanda Ritchie says:

    Thanks so much for the comment, Paul. And thank you for the feedback on your guests who have come to visit us, we really do love hearing that sort of feedback. I hope that you will make it to come and visit next year!

    Robin Stebbins says:

    I love the emotional feeling with the photos, they are not just technicality accurate but evoke a feeling in my heart and connection to the subject. Thank you, feeling inspired this morning and remembering the feeling, the smells in the morning air, the sight of the sun rising, of Londolozi

    Jeff Rodgers says:

    Great post . . . as always. For next time, it would be great if you could also include what lens you used to take the photo.

    Amanda Ritchie says:

    Hi Jeff. Thanks so much for the comment, as always! Both Rob and I use a Nikon D750 body. Rob uses a Nikon 200-500mm lens, and I use a Nikon 80-400mm lens. The Landscape shots were taken with a Sigma 20mm Art lens (SUCH a fun and fast lens!). We will be sure to include this in the next TWIP we do! Have a great weekend.

    Les Moodie says:

    A wonderful collection of photographs! Please keep them coming. I really loved the birds as we dont get them often from you. Well done.

    Peter and Sandra Jackson, Glenn, Louisa & Isla Stevens, Sara, Michael, Benjamin Loetz & Josh. says:

    Truly amazing photographs and brought memories flooding back to our stay with our family in early April. They are still talking about the wonderful time we all had and looking forward to returning in the not too distant future! Love to everyone, especially Alastair and Euce, we all enjoy your blogs so much

    Collette Bunton says:

    Breathtaking! Thank you so much

    Wendy Hawkins says:

    Oh these images are just stunning! just what I needed to get me through the cold weekend ahead! Thank you so much Amanda & Rob 🙂 Have a great weekend

    Mary Beth Wheeler says:

    Stunning images, Amanda & Rob! What an awesome-looking leopard the Anderson male truly is! And I especially love the delightful shot of the Spectacled Weaver! Thanks!

    MJ Bradley says:

    Always a treat to see a Blog or The Week in Pictures. Thank you for sharing your photos of paradise!

    Ronnie says:

    As a participant in that series of photos I know how wonderfully you and Rob captured the moments. So lucky to have you both along for the bush experience, and for introducing us to Londolozi. It’s a very special place.

    Amanda Ritchie says:

    We were so lucky to have you both here, and so glad that you enjoyed your time so much!

    Hezel Cohen says:

    The leopard pics are fantastic – black and white half face – WOW!!

    Al Kaiser says:

    You’ve got my favourites: Nanga and nanga young female, Nhlanguleni, Anderson male and Mike!! See you soon.

    Amanda Ritchie says:

    We thought you might like those pics, Al! 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you next month!

    Ian MacLarty says:

    Hi Amanda, You are certainly in the right job! Also great to see Rob’s work does not just involve “path patrol”. Great pics all round. Ian

    carola notter i would like one close up from your LEOPARDS says:

    very beautiful and close up photos from this super animals and birds , congratulations to the photo /takers.10.6.17

    Linda Anderson says:

    Simply wonderful! Thank you for sharing your incredible talents!

    sandra harmon says:

    thanks for the journey–almost as if I was there–hopefully 1 day–outstanding photos

    Russ Considine says:

    Thank you both very much for your beautiful and informative photographs. Enjoy!

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