The overcast and mild start to the week evaporated quickly as the heat waves took over. Herbivores are looking more and more eager for the wet season as each day passes, while the lion prides are taking advantage of large herds localising around the peramanent water that remains. Nevertheless, the bushveld still speaks to us and reveals its readiness for new life. In particular, impala ewes and wildebeest cows are bulging at the belly, and the search for the first lambs and calves of the season amongst the ranging and tracking teams heats up!
Hopeful eyes gaze to the south-western horizon for signs of a growing thunderstorm, and a wide variety of sources predict the next rainfall. Some suggest this weekend, others only toward the end of the month. Time will tell. For now, weavers continue to build their nests, Storks resort to stabbing into the mud for hidden amphibians and vultures ride thermals immediately after daybreak. In patient anticipation, the wildlife persists.
As we all face difficulties, it is our perseverance which carries us through. So while you wait for your rain, Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The first rays of sunlight gently fall onto this powerful male of the Matimba coalition as he roars one last time before settling down after a busy night. 1/1250 at f/6.3; ISO 1250.
The gloomy start to the week worked well with monochrome, bringing more depth to this eerie scene of a mother with her calf. 1/500 at f/4.5; ISO 640.
Before the heat came a day of clouds, again creating an interesting feel around this male Cheetah who we were very pleased to follow from fallen tree to fallen tree. 1/1250 at f/5; ISO 400.
Competing for browsing regions, giraffe bulls seem to be interacting more frequently than usual. This has meant the act of “necking” for dominance over nearby females has become more commonly observed. Fierce blows from their horns can cause great damage, despite their emotionless faces. 1/1000 at f/6.3; ISO 800.
As reward for enduring this week’s almost unprecedented heat, the resultant sunsets often left us in awe. 1/100 at f/20; ISO 200.
Similar to Simon’s beautiful photograph from two weeks ago (TWIP #204) this tail is a subject all on its own. The Tamboti young female pauses near us as the cool evening light sinks away. 1/200 at f/2.8; ISO 1250.
Along one of the few remaining areas of moving water, this Nile crocodile enjoys easy hunting amongst a school of fish with nowhere else to go. The trickling Sand River in motion blur. 1/40 at f/5; ISO 100.
A curious gaze from a young Hyena reveals a healthy wet nose. Despite often being likened to dogs, the Hyenidae family is unique from felines and canines, and I think the Hyenas look almost bear-like in their faces. 1/1000 at f/6.3; ISO 1000.
An evening patrol from the Mashaba female included this unforgettable rest on a branch fallen from a mighty Marula tree. A mother on a mission. 1/1250 at f/2.8; ISO 400.
Severely underexposing for this otherwise bright and harsh scene during the early afternoon created a fiery silhouette of this Matimba male. 1/500 at f/5; ISO 100.
As with the male lions (above) many of the predators have been forced to move around during the day in search of a drink. Here, the Piva male returns to the shade after a lengthy visit to a shallow pan to slake his thirst. 1/500 at f/2.8; ISO 1000.
Amongst hundreds of other Buffalo, this hungry cow chews on a tuft of dusty grass. These large herds of Buffalo take strain in the absence of consistent rain. 1/500 at f/5; ISO 640.
The galloping heat passes for the day, fading away and over the horizon, highlighting the distant mountains surrounding the Blyde River Canyon and its rich history. 1/200 at f/11; ISO 800.
Have a phenomenal weekend.
Photographed by Sean Cresswell, Londolozi Ranger.