“The wild is a voice that never stops whispering. It enters your pores by osmosis, and once its under your skin, good luck forgetting. The wild haunts the imagination, calling you back to places of vast sky and fast-running light, where solitude hunts for you and the edges of the world get ragged. These empty places are mirrors; they reflect back everything of yourself. They are teachers too, of a thousand lessons beyond anything our hands have made. Out there time stops walking, takes on different hues”- Daniel Crockett
Londolozi is a place that is lucky enough to have friends from all over the world who have fallen in love with it and return to re-explore its wilderness, time and time again. As Daniel Crockett so beautifully states above, this is no strange wonder, as we are all familiar with the addiction that comes from time spent in the quiet wild. This week has been no different, and along with old friends, we’ve been spending long hours in the cool, dry bush, enjoying the soft light cast on the vast variety of animals. Many of these have been around water, where animals come to quench their thirst, creating some of the beautiful reflections caught in the photographs below. Bright birds stand out against the stark bush and predators continue to thrill us with their movements; with one of the week’s highlights being a pack of wild dogs that took us along on their morning impala hunt. As 2015 moves swiftly on, so to do the patterns of the bush around us.
I hope you enjoy seeing what it is that the mist reveals when it lifts its murky curtain and unveils the day’s adventures in my Week in Pictures.
The Tamboti female scans the sparse bush veld from atop her throne. The subdued light at the moment is one of my favourite things about the winter months. 1/1000 @f8; ISO 800
The various pillars of an elephant, reflected back on itself as it drinks from the Sand River. 1/640 @f7,1; ISO 640
One of the Matshapiri males locks eyes on us as he quenches his thirst from a small pan. 1/800 @f7,1; ISO 1000.
A hyena listens into the night, looking for indications as to where it should start its’ evening exploration. Alarm calls, smells drifting on the wind and whooping calls from its’ fellow clan members are all clues that could help it to find an evening meal. 1/30 @f5; ISO 3200
A Little Bee-eater patiently perches whilst waiting for an unsuspecting insect to fly by. Typically these birds will zip off their branch, grab the prey and return to the same branch to feast. While most other Bee-eater species migrate, this particular one remains with us throughout the winter months. 1/1000 @f9; ISO 640
A Tsalala lioness locks eyes on some impala feeding up ahead of her. It always amazes me how they can look at potential prey with such intensity and yet look through our vehicles as if we don’t even exist. 1/500 @f8; ISO 1600
A Cape buffalo is mobbed by a flock of hungry Red-billed oxpeckers. The ones riding on his nose are most likely quenching their thirst on the buffalo’s mucous. 1/1000 @f8; ISO 1000
A pair of White-backed Vultures wait out a misty winter’s morning. A few hours later, the sun will burn off the mist, creating thermals that carry these birds to their morning meal.1/500 @f9; ISO 1000
The Gowrie male stretches himself before beginning the evening’s activities. As he does so, his whiskers catch the light of the spotlight, reminding us just how long they really are. 1/320 @f5,6; ISO 3200
A spider catches more than it bargained for as the morning mist attaches itself to the web. The numerous webs dotted throughout the bush act as badly-timed Christmas decorations on these wet, misty mornings. 1/500 @f10; ISO800
A pair of Yellow-billed Hornbills call together from a tall, dead Knobthorn. Many birds will perch on prominent trees such as this one, attempting to warm themselves in the suns’s early rays. 1/1000 @f8; ISO 320
A rhino bull satiates his thirst at a waterhole. Due to watercourses drying up, territorial rhino bulls will allow neighbouring, competing bulls to drink from within their territories as long as they show signs of subservience, do not attempt to scent mark and avoid female counterparts. 1/800 @7,1; ISO 500
The Nanga female rests on a termite mound. I really loved the shape her back and tail created in this image. 1/1000 @f8; ISO 320
The patterns and markings on this giraffe help to tell a tale of its life. Although some giraffe are born dark, this colouring may also be an indicator of the male’s old age. The scarring on its’ side also suggests a close call with a predator’s sharp claws or a hasty escape through some dense brush. 1/800 @f8; ISO 1250
A male lion captured from a slightly different angle in the spotlight. I have really enjoyed playing with back- and side-lighting lately and look forward to working on these techniques more in the future. 1/80 @f5,6; ISO 6400
A close up of an elephant’s eye as it sidles up to feed on a branch near us. I would love to know what those eyes have seen in its long life, wandering through this great wilderness. 1/640 @F7,1; ISO 800
A giraffe silhouetted against the setting sun. The dust in the atmosphere during the winter months helps to create dramatic sunset scenes such as this one. 1/400 @f5; ISO 2000
A Wild dog chases off some hopeful vultures, attempting to close in on the pack’s impala kill. Once the pack had eaten their fill, the vultures quickly descended to pick the carcass clean. 1/1250 @f8; ISO 1250
The Tamboti female scans her surroundings, treating us to a gorgeous, quintessential photo opportunity. 1/1000 @f8; ISO 1250
I’ve really struggled to pick a favourite this week. Which one do you think is the best image?
Wow, these are all spectacular Amy! I really like the Vultures in the morning mist and the eye contact is fantastic in the image of the Matshipiri male. I loved them all though! Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful pictures and well written blog. Have a great weekend!
I think my favorite is the hyena at night. Even though it was taken at night the details of the face are clear and it brings the emotions of watching a predator at night.
The Little Bee Eater, simply because birds are ten times more difficult to get a decent photo of.
Great images and beautiful captions.
A very hard choice to make but… the Timboti female leopard is my fav.
WOW!! These are all amazing! I love what you’re doing with the back and side lighting…turning out some great sillouhettes. I liked the vultures in the mist. But, of course, the Nanga female is just breathtaking and, can’t help it, my favorite!! Thank you!
I, too, loved them all – Tamboti is a special favorite, though. But I really liked the quote at the beginning of your blog and have saved it to reread again and again. I don’t know the author, but his insight spoke to me. Thank you.
Sorry Amy. Can’t pick a favorite since any rhino picture is my favorite, then there is Tamboti, who posed for me the last time I was in Londolozi. Oh heck, they are all my favorites. Thank you.
These are among the most “artful” photographs !!! Way too difficult to pick just one….Mine is the pair of yellow-bill hornbills….looks like a painting……and the rhino with its reflection in the water……
They are all breath taking, but I am drawn back to the elephant! Thanks for another wonderful “fix” of Londolozi!! Can’t wait to return…
The eye of the elephant, hands down!
Love the wild dog chasing the vultures, and of course all of the pictures of the cats!
Incredible images Amy.
Great photo’s. The elephant eye is my favourite as I have tried so long without suscess for an eye photo
Great work! We’ll be there soon, thank you for including the photo information. If I get one close to what you have done here I’ll be happy!
No way you can expect me to choose one out all these stunning pictures! I have been without a PC & have missed my daily dose of calm, so now I am up & running & have a month of pictures to enjoy. Thank you for always keeping us in the loop 🙂