This week was defined by the events that unfolded around Sable Boma Pan, a small waterhole near the Londolozi airstrip. An old giraffe bull, well into the twilight of his life, slipped and fell whilst bending down for a drink and became firmly stuck in the mud. No one witnessed his actual fall, but he was found towards the end of game drive, clearly exhausted by numerous attempts to extricate himself. Sadly his strength failed him, and he died within a couple of hours, too weak to lift his head above water to keep breathing.
His death was a windfall for the two Matimba males, who smelt the carcass after dark that evening and moved in to begin feeding. It was rather comical to see these two hulking brutes of the lion world so tentative about getting even one paw wet, but they eventually overcame their inhibitions and waded in to open up the carcass.
The last few days have seen a steady build-up of vultures as the carcass was eaten, and the male lions are still there. The giraffe carcass is really beginning to smell!
We will release a full post on the events around the giraffe next week, but for now, enjoy this The Week in Pictures…
One of the Tsalala cubs flattens itself against a boulder in the Manyelethi River whilst watching its sibling. (ISO 800, f/5, 1/1000)
The Mashaba female watches a nearby herd of impala. With the impala rut getting into full swing, the leopards are focussing on males as a favoured prey item. (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/1600)
The infrequently seen male cheetah stands a top a fallen over tree to obtain a vantage point, looking for potential prey (ISO 800, f/5, 1/4000)
Playing around with the position of your light source can add new depth to a fairly straightforward scene. Different spotlight angles are a simple way of getting creative after dark. (ISO 2000, f/5.6, 1/100)
A crowned lapwing fearlessly protects its clutch of eggs whilst drying itself off after an early morning drizzle. (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/1000)
A large elephant bull provided Don Heyneke and a few staff members with an exhilarating close encounter. (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/1600)
A Hamerkop seemingly effortlessly caught this unsuspecting frog whilst wading around in the shallow water (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/640)
It is always a happy occasion to see a number of threatened white rhino interacting together. (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/5000)
A close-up image of a zebra’s coat provides one with a different interpretation of their unique stripe patterns. (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/1000)
The two young Tsalala cubs play on their mother’s back whilst she keeps a close eye on a passing herd of elephants. (ISO 800, f/4.5, 1/160)
A herd of impala stand to attention in the morning light as the Inyathini male leopard walks adjacent to the thicket line nearby. (ISO 800, f/4.6, 1/1000)
An adult red-billed oxpecker feeds a juvenile as the rest of the flock comb through the hairs of a large herd of buffalo, ridding them of their ticks and parasites. (ISO 800, f/5.6 1/1600)
A female buffalo looks intently at us (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/500)
The Mashaba female slakes her thirst as the heat rises on a warm autumn morning. (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/3200)
A hooded vulture looks into the setting sun as it waits its turn to feed on the remains of a kudu bull carcass. (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/8000)
The Nkoveni female cautiously walks passed our bush dinner site whilst the staff members look on. (ISO 800, f/4.5, 1/320)
The Dark-maned Matimba male stands atop of the giraffe that they fortuitously stumbled upon on their territorial patrol. (ISO 800, f/5, 1/400)