I woke up at 5am as usual this morning, but to the sound of traffic and a dog barking in the distance. Fortunately I was able to escape these distasteful noises by rolling over and going back to sleep.
As you may have guessed, I am not at Londolozi, but on leave. Down in the Cape for two weeks, excited for some R&R, but as always happens, as soon as I leave the bush, I start missing it. Bush FOMO generally hits me as soon as I leave the Sabi Sand Reseve, and I’m probably going to keep my ‘phone off for the next two weeks, just so I don’t have to hear about what the other guys have been seeing.
Be that as it may, I can still look back over some of the recent photos and look forward again to returning in less than a fortnight; to have the Majingilane sounding off into the night instead of cars. To have the Sand River rushing over the granite boulders barely 80m from my room instead of a tar road.
While I worry about being away, enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The Tamboti female snarls at her cub as she moves in too close to where the mother was feeding on the remains of an impala leg. f3.5, 1/1000, ISO 640
Once the meat was finished, the two leopards climbed into a fallen marula, ostensibly to groom each other but also to avoid an annoying hyena that was skulking by. f3.5, 1/800, ISO 640
The mother and cub groomed each other before moving off into the dusk. f4, 1/400, ISO 640
Two young kudu bulls enjoy the evening in the Maxabene riverbed. f2.8, 1/1250, ISO 320
Buffalo Bulls. Grumpy creatures. It has been said that these dangerous bovines ‘look at you as if you owe them money’, and these two wallowing in Graded Pan certainly exemplify that. The one on the right does NOT look impressed with whatever the other one said to him! f4.5, 1/250, ISO 640
The Mashaba Young Female and what at first appears to be a nasty gash. We regularly encounter leopards with injuries like this. Sometimes inflicted by a sharp branch during a tumble on the hunt, sometimes by a warthog, the leopard’s immune system and remarkable powers of recovery mean that such wounds are seldom serious. f2.8, 1/320, ISO 640
The Tsalala cubs jostle for a position to drink at Sable Boma Pan. f3.2, 1/2500, ISO 640
NOT a good idea. A Tsalala cub gnaws on the tail of the Dark Maned Majingilane, inviting a snarl and a cuff. f2.8, 1/800, ISO 1000
The Wild dogs have been in and out recently. On this morning ranger Kate Imrie found the pack of 8 and their 5 pups moving through the south of the reserve. We enjoyed a brief sighting before they disappeared down into the Sand River. f4.5, 1/800, ISO 800
TheVomba young male grows daily in stature. Taking confidence in his size, he is being seen in the open far more these days. f2.8, 1/800, ISO 640
Not Narcissus enjoying his reflection in a pool, but a white rhino bull, sniffing along on the trail of a female. f4.5, 1/1600, ISO 320
What IS this thing? Any ideas? All manner of weird shapes and sizes make up the insect world, and I found this amazing creature crawling around on my balcony. Do those disproportionately long extensions aid in camouflage? A mating display? Any guesses? f10, 1/25, ISO 2500, Macro Lens
We had a good run of luck on this evening, seeing a Pearl-Spotted owl, a Verraux’s Eagle owl, and to complete the trio, this Spotted Eagle Owl, about to set out for the night’s hunt. f2.8, 1/60, ISO 1000
Emerging from the long grass to spy out a small group of Buffalo bulls, the South Pride goes on the hunt. f2.8, 1/5000, ISO 640
The lead female makes her approach. One can clearly see her intent in her posture. Ears flattened, body pressed low, tail dropped. An incredibly exciting thing to witness. f2.8, 1/5000, ISO 640
Photographed by James Tyrrell