I live for being out on safari and my favourite time of the year is between mid November and mid December. There is the most incredible explosion of life at this time of the year. From the new impala lambs being born in their thousands, to piles of rhino dung literally boiling with activity of the dung beetles rolling off balls of precious dung to feed, mate and lay eggs within. The explosions of flying termite alates, erupting from their mounds, the eagles, jackal, marabou storks, frogs and snakes which gather to feast on the bounty of protein rich termites. There is a feeling of excitement in the bush, the migrant birds have returned to feast and breed on the summer bounty, they call endlessly, creating a loud cacophony of ear-piercing calls and the herbivores have a new bounce and energy in their step as there is finally a salad bowl of fresh green leaves and grasses to feast upon. The massive thunderstorms that roll in over the bush after a blistering day, cool and refresh the landscape, may affect an afternoon safari but is a small sacrifice to make to experience this amazing time of the year.
Marthly Male drinks from a rain filled puddle.
A vervet monkey and her youngster, a well recognised scenario around camp at the moment now that most of them have been born.
White faced ducks swoop past a hippo.
A female rhino with a new generation.
The usually unrelaxed Short tailed male looking up at us before quenching his thirst.
The Short tailed male with Ximpalapala young female before another bout of mating.
A Tawny eagle takes to the air as it starts warming up.
A female elephant and her calf enjoying the fresh green leaves of summer.
A Pair of male giraffe in a dangerous dance.
I love how giraffes flick their heads up when drinking, in turn, spraying the water in front of them. A great photographic opportunity.
A young elephant trying to cool down in the Sand River during a hot afternoon.
Older siblings responding to a distress call of a young elephant.
Hyena mother yawns after a long night of hunting.
It is always a huge risk for these flap necked chameleons to be in such an open space. This one was crossing the road in front of us as quickly as he could.
As vultures pass overhead, the Marthly Male makes sure they know who’s boss.
As much as we avoid having baboons in camp due to possible room break-ins, they are fascinating to watch when in their natural environment. I can often watch them for hours going about their daily business.
A dazzle of zebras standing out from the Drakensberg mountains as the backdrop.
A journey of giraffe keep a watchful eye over the Tsalala pride lying only metres away.
A hyena on evening patrol.
Written and Photographed by Lucien Beaumont