There is something magic about the spontaneous, the unrehearsed. I think this is why I find such intrigue in the images caught by a camera trap. There is no composition, planning or manipulation. Only chance. The image is as it is and I find great beauty in that.
When Alex of Tracker Academy asked whether I would be interested in putting up the camera in a spot where his team were finding tracks of the elusive Meller’s mongoose, I was only too keen. This meant placing the camera in the North Western part of the reserve where we have only recently opened way for a road. There are large tracts of land here that we rarely traverse. What we noticed with the location of the trap and the low angle in which we positioned it, was less diurnal activity and a lot more nocturnal creatures being caught on film!
Although some of the images a little more blurred than I’d like which may lead to a little speculation, I could not contain my excitement with the diversity of species we have managed to capture in the last two weeks. A total of 15 species: Elephant, Impala, Duiker, Steenbok, Scrub Hare, Civet, Genet, White-tailed Mongoose, Meller’s Mongoose, Banded Mongoose, Hyena, Porcupine, Zebra, Leopard and possibly a Pangolin!
I hope you all enjoy the selection.
The red dot marks the spot where I set up the trap. There is a new road along this path that is not on this map but one can still see how large the pieces of land are adjacent to this area, making it more exciting to see what moves around here.
A Scrub hare sneaks past the camera!
A beautiful, spotted, nocturnal creature that we do not often get to see: a Civet.
If you look carefully in the bottom right corner there is a dark shape of which I can only guess to be a Pangolin!
A large elephant dwarfs the camera and we get a glimpse of two front legs and a swinging trunk.
The largest of the mongoose species: the solitary White-tailed Mongoose.
This Porcupine was followed by a second shortly after as they sauntered south down the road.
The low-angle of the camera trap just managed to capture a part of a zebra as it makes its early morning commute.
Another capture of a Civet. Note the striking patterns on the neck area.
A baby Banded Mongoose investigates something on the road.
The trap managed to capture this leopard cruising very quickly past.
Morning light catches an Impala as day breaks.
A Genet peers up at just the right time to capture this shot.
Could this be the Meller’s Mongoose we are looking for? The size and slightly darker shade of the tail indicates so but we are hoping for another shot in the next few weeks to confirm!
A male duiker on a morning mission.
Great timing just manages to include this hyena as it walks away.
A male Steenbok gets up close to the trap – can you see the ticks around his eye?
Which is your favourite image?
Written by: Andrea Campbell, Londolozi Landcare Assistant