The Two Jameses from the guiding team – Tyrrell and Souchon – combine for TWIP this Friday.
A few unusual creatures have been showing themselves after the recent rains, including some pretty funny looking reptiles (photograph 2). Life that has lain dormant for so long needs very little in the way of encouragement to emerge to take advantage of the rain and subsequent greening of the bushveld, although a low water-table, persistent sunshine and no more precipitation may well make everything revert back to what it was like at the end of the drought fairly quickly.
The inhabitants of Londolozi will cross that bridge when they come to it, as will we.
For now, enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The Mhangeni pride – or at least a part of it – lap up rainwater from a rock puddle. Lions can be fussy drinkers, and would far rather drink from a fresh pool of rainwater than from a dirty waterhole. f7.1, 1/320s, ISO 500. Photograph by James Souchon
Any guesses as to what this is? As funny looking creature, to be sure. That tiny bit of pink below its head (yes, that is its head!) is its tongue, and it subsists on a diet of termites. We’ll let you know what it is a bit later… f11, 1/150s, ISO 800. Photograph by James Tyrrell
Termites are typically associated with building huge mounds of earth in this area, yet some of their smaller constructions can take on slightly more abstract shapes. This one was in the middle of a road, and it was great to see the tyre tracks from where everyone had been taking care to drive round it. f5.6, 1/400s, ISO 640. Photograph by James Tyrrell
Two Speke’s hinged tortoises copulate at the roadside. They can be sexed when found on their own, as the male has a concave plastron (the underneath part of the shell) to facilitate just such an act. f3.5, 1/4000s, ISO 640. Photograph by James Tyrrell
White backed vultures glut themselves on the remains of a buffalo carcass while a marabou stork strides around in the background. f5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 800. Photograph by James Tyrrell
This picture is not framed particularly well; usually one would want a bit more space in front of the warthog in the composition, but it burst out of the wallow so quickly I barely had time to lift my camera. The species who wallow regularly, like rhino, buffalo and warthogs, have been taking full advantage of the full pans after the recent rains. f2.8, 1/400s, ISO 800. Photograph by James Tyrrell
The Mashaba female eyes out some distant impala from her marula tree perch. f5.6, 1/60s, ISO 1000. Photograph by James Souchon
One of the Majingilane males rests a weary paw agains a bushwillow sapling. f4, 1/60s, ISO 1250. Photograph by James Tyrrell
The Tsalala cubs are still reluctant to venture too far from their mother, exploring to within about ten metres away from her before scuttling back. f3.5, 1/800s, ISO 800. Photograph by James Tyrrell
Clouds build over a lone giraffe bull. f11, 1/100s, ISO 640. Photograph by James Souchon
A large elephant bull eyes us warily from where he emerged out of the thickets. We had circled ahead of him and were waiting for him to cross through this gap, but I don’t think he was expecting to see us there. f5, 1/500s, ISO 500. Photograph by James Tyrrell
Young elephants don’t have very good control of their trunks, and will often use their mouths to try and drink water or pluck vegetation. A calf this small will almost certainly be very dependant on its mother’s milk still. f5.6, 1/200s, ISO 800. Photograph by James Souchon
Mushrooms and other fungi will literally grow overnight. A ball of elephant dung makes for a nice fertile growing environment. f20, 1/80s, ISO 800. Photograph by James Tyrrell
The Mashaba female and cub share a puddle of water. Like the Mhangeni pride in the first photo, leopards can be particular about the water source they would prefer to drink out of. f5.6, 1/250s, ISO 800. Photograph by James Souchon.
The sun disappears behind the escarpment, bathing the western sky in orange and gold. f8, 1/200s, ISO 1000. Photograph by James Souchon.