The long-awaited rain has finally arrived, and it arrived with a bang, with about 70 mm falling over the course of one evening. The low levels of the Sand River are due to rise and the green grass is set to burst through over the next week or two, and only just in time, as the impala ewes are almost bursting, so heavily pregnant are they!
The week saw a furious clash between the Mhangeni and Tsalala prides, with the Majingilane putting in an appearance that is becoming rarer and rarer these days.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
An elephant herd crosses the Sand River, using the opportunity to have a dust bath on the far side.
A cloud of talcum powder-like dust envelops them.
A Burchell’s starling snatches a quick bath in the midday heat.
Two of the wild dog pups from this year’s litter chase each other’s tails through a mud wallow
While the cubs played, the adults amused themselves by chasing – and being chased by – a nearby dazzle of zebra.
The young Tsalala lioness surges across the Sand River.
Still young, she didn’t hesitate to join the younger members of the pride in their games, providing this stick as her commitment to the fun.
Tug-of-war, always a favourite among lion cubs.
The Tutlwa female surveys the Manyelethi riverbed from its lofty banks. This large female holds territory along both the Sand and Manyelethi rivers, some of the best leopard territory in the world!
A whitebacked vulture claims what is left of the recent Tsalala Pride kill, while a smaller hooded vulture looks on in the background.
A hyena moves a young cub to a new densite. Still small, this cub was far safer being carried (which the mother did at high speed) than walking.
After the Mhangeni-Tsalala clash, two of the Majingilane move in to make sure things have calmed down.
In high spirits after an eventful morning, two of the Tsalala youngsters engage in boisterous tackling practice.
A pied kingfisher uses the last of the evening light to fish at Taylor’s Black Pan.
A flock of hadedas fly past on the same evening.
Mike Sithole follows tracks of the Nanga female leopard through the dusty evening light.
Photographed by James Tyrrell