This week a very definite theme of animals in their environment seems to have emerged in this photographic collaboration between me and James Tyrrell. With the dry weather putting pressure on the inhabitants of Londolozi, it seems conditions are difficult everywhere in the world, not just in Britain’s economy.
Brexit aside, the resilient nature of the creatures we view becomes more and more apparent with each passing day.
And with that enjoy this Week in Pictures…
An elephant cow and calf quench their thirst in the Sand River. Currently this water source is drying up rapidly and soon elephants will have to start digging to get to the fresh water hidden beneath the sand. f5,6, ISO 640, 1/320s Photograph by Amy Attenborough
An irascible buffalo bull eyes us warily from the Sand River. He had been engaged in quite a confrontation with another bull just before this picture was taken and was acting aggressively as a result, so we were keeping our distance. Thankfully there was a deep river channel between us. f2.8, ISO 1250, 1/60s. Photograph by James Tyrrell
A herd of elephants move off together after a late morning drink in the Sand River. f5,6; ISO 640; 1/320s. Photograph by Amy Attenborough
A white backed vulture waits on the branch of a dead Brown Ivory for the Matimba male lions and a clan of hyenas to move off a buffalo kill. These scavengers will then descend and rapidly clean up the remains of the meat. f9, ISO 640, 1/500s Photograph by Amy Attenborough
Three klipspringers atop Marthly Pools koppies. This trio is most likely a breeding pair and their offspring. With the Tsalala pride spending a lot of time in and around these koppies at the moment with their cubs, I imagine the local klipspringer population is having to keep a wary eye out. f20, ISO 800, 1/800s. Photograph by James Tyrrell
Can you spot the lion? We walked onto the top of this koppie to see if we could find where this Matimba male was calling from and he emerged from amongst the boulders just as we reached the crest. To have the sun warming us from the east and this male calling to our west made it an incredible encounter. f7,1 ISO 800, 1/1000s Photograph by Amy Attenborough
Tha Nanga female gets active from her Marula tree perch. With the drought rendering the bush as open as it’s been for a long time, leopards are being afforded scant cover from which to hunt and are having to adjust their approach accordingly, especially as the general game is more scarce. We watched this leopard stalk and chase a number of scrub hares on this evening, in an area usually teeming with impala. f2.8 ISO 2000, 1/160s. Photograph by James Tyrrell
This was the most incredible giraffe sighting I have had in a long time. It is unusual to find giraffe in the Sand River as the banks are steep and make a swift retreat from predators difficult but on this particular afternoon there were about 30 of them in the river together. Although I was unable to capture the entire journey in one frame, these three bulls were necking close enough together to capture a photograph. f5,6, ISO 2500, 1/160s Photograph Amy Attenborough
An Egyptian Goose shouts from the branches of a dead knobthorn at dawn. These birds are highly territorial and they hiss and honk to ward off any potential territorial threat from other Egyptian Geese. f5,6, ISO 640, 1/500s Photograph by Amy Attenborough
A waterbuck bull feeds in the gorgeous, warm light of a winter’s afternoon. These antelope are concentrating their feeding around the Sand River even more at the moment than normal due to the general lack of food options during this dry period. f7,1, ISO 250, 1/250s Photograph by Amy Attenborough
Ideally these giraffes would have been right on the skyline, but with such rich colour behind them in the sky I simply couldn’t forego this opportunity for a silhouette shot. f2.8, ISO 1250, 1/30s. Photograph by James Tyrrell
An African Hawk Eagle perches during an unseasonal spattering of rain. Its partner wasn’t far off, perching in a nearby tree, waiting for an opportunity to hunt. f5,6; ISO 2000, 1/320s. Photograph by Amy Attenborough
An elephant bull feeds at the highest point of the koppie above Marthly Pools. As sure-footed as a Basutho pony, elephants can regularly be encountered high up on the slopes taking advantage of the foliage. Although not a place many people expect to see an elephant, they are quite adept at climbing. Photograph by Amy Attenborough
The Mashaba female was watching one of the Matimba male lions who was skulking around beneath her. Had she had a kill in the tree, there would have been a definite chance that the lion would have climbed up to try and steal it, but she didn’t, and so he sauntered off on his way. f2.8, ISO 800, 1/200s. Photograph by James Tyrrell
The drought claims its victims. The carcass of this poor elephant calf was discovered in a muddy waterhole in the north of the property. It seems unlikely that its mother and herd would have been unable to extract it from the mud, as it was quite close to the edge, and a larger elephant would have had no trouble wading in. A far more likely scenario is that it simply succumbed to exhaustion brought on by poor nutrition in these difficult times. A poignant reminder of the circle of life and death in the African bush. f3.5, ISO 640, 1/1250s. Photograph by James Tyrrell
Sam Shriver sits on the highest point of the Ximpalapala Koppie, looking into the rising sun. For me, this is one of the very best places to welcome the start of the day on Londolozi. f4, ISO 2500, 1/80s. Photograph by Amy Attenborough
Thank you for a great week of amazing pictures Amy and James! It’s astounding to see the water levels so low, and very sad to see the little elephant calf didn’t survive. I hope you get some rain soon.
Thank you for these beautiful, though some sad images! The circle of life certainly applies to the bush, but it is always sad when any animal dies naturally, even worse when poached!! That lion was eyeballing you from down below 🙂 Have a great weekend
The Klipspringer photo is supurb! I would love to sit on that koppie and watch the Matimba pass by below *sigh* that would be heaven on earth! So very sad to see the ellie calf succomb to the harsh realities of the bush. Thank you for sharing a little piece of your paradise!