The fiscal quarter has seen increased revenues and lower costs. The general market outlook is positive and… Ok, I have probably lost half of the people who foolishly clicked on this link already! After guiding at Londolozi for three years, a combination of good timing and good fortune saw me, rather than returning to Johannesburg, take up a position in the finance office here at the lodge. Despite being largely based in the office, my passion for the bush and photographing it’s inhabitants has not diminished. As such, I try and make an effort to get out as often as possible. Having an office job that allows me to do this is truly amazing, and I have numerous jealous friends who made the decision to leave the bush for the so-called “real world”.
So when most head out of the office and into an hour of traffic, I am fortunate enough to spend my hour accumulating the pictures and experiences below. Well, I better get back to some real work before they realise I am gone!
One of the Nanga cubs peers inquisitively out of the long grass
Leopards are usually associated with thick bush and obscured views – we were fortunate one day to encounter the Nanga female and her two cubs crossing a clearing in good light.
A lot of a young leopard cubs early life is spent waiting around for mom!
Having a sibling though can help pass the time and play time forms an important part of learning.
Trying incredibly hard to keep his eyes open, one of the Nanga cubs rests in the sun on this log
Panning the camera using a slow shutter speed allows you to achieve this effect, where the head is sharp but the motion blurred. It can be a bit hit and miss – I think I took around 50 shots and got just one right on this occasion.
One of the Sparta females yawns in the late afternoon sun
A brave young male subadult from the Sparta Pride approaches on of the Majingilane males – in time the males won’t be so receptive to this and will drive the young males out of the area.
Another yawn from a Sparta female as she prepares for a night on the hunt. The use of side-light from another vehicle helps achieve this effect
Again, side – lighting has been used here. The surrounding darkness makes the male look oven more menacing than usual.
The Nanga Female finds a use for one of her cubs – the perfect chin rest!
Another Nanga Cub photo – as you can probably tell from the spread of photo’s, if I can find time to head out it is usually in pursuit of these two cubs!
One of my favourite photos is this one of the male cheetah perched on a termite mound at sunset
No moon and a winter night sky set the perfect conditions for this photo of a leadwood and the Milkyway, taken near Lex’s pan.
I guess every job has it’s own challenges – as this young Sparta Male illustrates – seems to have been a long night at the office for him!
Written and Photographed by David Dampier