“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~Albert Einstein
The words spoken in the above quote are simple ones but ones that have become very true for me. As time passes in my guiding career, I find myself feeling as though I have become more in touch with my surroundings.
My fellow guides and I often get asked by guests what our favourite time of the year is and without hesitation my answer is always, winter. However, over the past few years I have grown to appreciate the seasonal changes and the unbelievable transformations we get to witness out in the field. The coming summer months bring with them an awakening, as new born impala lambs and wildebeest calves adorn the now vibrant green open areas and inject new energy and life into the bush.
If there is anything I have learnt from the bush, it is patience. The wilderness is the greatest teacher and if one can sit back, relax and take in what the bush offers, then one can learn great lessons not only for current life but for the future as well.
This past week I have made a point of sitting back and letting nature reveal its’ secrets and wonders to me; not forcing anything but rather letting the true beauty of the bush unfold as it may.
I hope you enjoy this week in pictures…
The Sand River female relaxes in the canopy of the trees on a warm summer’s afternoon, allowing the breeze to cool her down. ISO 800 F2.8 1/800 @ 300mm Sigma 120-300mm F2.8
There are few things more powerful to watch in the bush than a thunderstorm. ISO 100 F7.1 10” Sigma 50mm F1.4
Any time one finds themselves locking eyes with an animal as impressive as this, is a time that one can be left feeling overwhelmed. ISO 1000 F4 1/1000 @300mm Sigma 120-300mm F2.8
The Nanga female digests her recently consumed meal in the safety of a tree, as the morning heats up. She is such a beautiful female with the most striking eyes. ISO 800 F4 1/2000 @300mm Sigma 120-300mm F2.8
The intensity of a stare sometimes needs no words. ISO 800 F2.8 1/400 @235mm Sigma 120-300mm F2.8
Water; it is the key to survival. Let’s hope the coming months deliver some rain. ISO 800 F2.8 1/6400 @300mm Sigma 120-300mm F2.8
The coat of a leopard is always one that fascinates me. The perfect design for an incredible predator. ISO 1000 F2.8 1/1600 @300mm Sigma 120-300mm F2.8
A silhouette of a kudu bull shows the struggle against flies as they seek out moisture. ISO 800 F4 1/250 @120mm Sigma 120-300mm
We spent a large portion of our afternoon watching this little hyena cub, until its mother decided to head off for the evening. After watching its mother disappear, the youngster then headed back into the safety of the den. ISO 800 F2.8 1/1000 @300mm Sigma 120-300mm
If ever there was a perfect moment with a leopard, in perfect light, it is this one. The Nanga female stretched and relaxed on this boulder all afternoon, in beautiful golden light. ISO 800 F2.8 1/400 @ 128mm Sigma 120-300mm F2.8
The reason why leopards are so elusive. Incredible camouflage combined with supreme strength create a great huntress. The Mashaba female watches a herd of impala from the cover of a guarri tree. Iso 800 F2.8 1/2000 @300mm sigma 120-300mm
Being such water dependant animals and having to drink on a regular basis, it’s always great to watch as a large herd of buffalo approaches a waterhole. ISO 800 F4 1/800 @300mm Sigma 120-300mm
I often wonder to myself what is going on behind those eyes and what those eyes have seen in their lifetime. ISO 100 F4 1/250 @ 300mm Sigma 120-300mm F2.8
Normally seen grazing in the clearings, I couldn’t help but take this rather different picture of this wildebeest bull as he peered at us over a fallen log. ISO 800 F2.8 1/800 @300mm Sigma 120-300mm F2.8
Textures. A close up of an elephant’s hide. ISO 800 F2.8 1/4000 @ 220mm Sigma 120-300mm F2.8
The perfect end to the day. This is my favourite picture of the week as it is a picture I have been trying to get for a very long time. ISO 640 F2.8 1/400@ 200mm Sigma 120-300mm F2.8
The Flehmen grimace. This is a technique used by the males to detect the evidence of oestrus in females. Sidelight gives us a very powerful view of one of the Matimba males. ISO 1000 F2.8 1/160 @300mm Sigma 120-300mm F2.8
A couple of male impalas move to the airstrip in the late afternoon, seeking an open area in which to rest for the evening. ISO 800 F5 1/500 using the Sigma 120-300 F2.8
Another image of a leopard’s coat. I cannot get enough of the beautiful markings. ISO 800 F2.8 1/2000 @300mm Sigma 120-300 F2.8
One of my all-time favourite pictures. The intensity of the storm says it all. ISO 100 F7.1 15” @ Sigma 50mm F1.4
Written and photographed by Trevor McCall-Peat, Londolozi Ranger