Now deep into the cool and dusty winter, authentic colours of the land emerge around constantly active animals. With busy characters always on the move, viewing and photographic opportunities are a plenty with open bushveld and clean skies.
As the sounds of the night trickle into morning, the crisp air brings a uniquely vibrant landscape to life. Predators are at their peak with no limiting daytime temperatures and thus move great distances throughout the day in search of any weakening herbivores. Now that the coldest months have passed, migrant birds are beginning to venture back into the area; wood sandpipers, yellow-billed kites and breeding pairs of Wahlberg’s eagles to mention a few. With the waning Moon passing in front of the Sun during the day, crystal clear and still nights reveal a magical Milky Way strung above us from horizon to horizon.
The neutral balance of nature continues to provide for incredible viewing and its observers are soaking up all aspects of this seasonal change. A surreal feeling is sprung upon us all during this beautiful time of the year; welcome to spring!
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
Open and clean. A stunning low angle view of a Matimba male lion as he walks and roars, with overcast conditions setting this scene. 1/640 at f/2.8; ISO 100.
The first moments of morning; exhaling a cloud of droplets so gently lit by a rising sun. 1/1250 at f/4.5; ISO 500.
Despite drought conditions, areas of lush vegetation are still to be found. Uncharacteristically, this zebra stallion explored a low lying drainage system for palatable graze. 1/500 at f/4.5; ISO 500.
Dark tones. Approaching sunlight. A curious nose raised up into the informative air. A Matimba male lion sniffs what is being carried on the cool morning air.1/1250 at f/2.8; ISO 500.
A personality of the wilderness. Spotted hyenas are known to “laugh” or cackle from time to time, but this young male is more interested in an evening drink of water. 1/1600 at f/5; ISO 400.
A change. As the conditions couldn’t be better for star gazing, the Milky Way sits high in the evening sky without any moonlight interference. This is a high-contrast, over-saturated process of a standard Milk Way shot to reveal its hidden colours and shape which I believe often go unnoticed. 20,0sec at f/1.4; ISO 800.
Morning traffic in the barren areas of the winter grasslands. Hundreds of buffalo kick up dust as they head for the next water hole. 1/1600 at f/11; ISO 400.
The Tamboti female leopard looks as regal as ever as she rests atop a dead tree trunk in late morning clarity. Monochrome processing simplifies the busy contrast of light and colour. 1/800 at f/2.8; ISO 100.
The Tamboti female inhabited the south-eastern sections of Londolozi, having a large part of her territory along the Maxabene Riverbed.
An unforgettable view of ranger Nick Sims driving his vehicle downstream in the dry Manyalethi riverbed with a setting sun behind him. 1/4000 at f/4; ISO 800.
Tsalala succession. Some youngsters from the Tsalala Pride rest in the predominantly dry Sand River. 1/320 at f/4; ISO 320.
Through a gauntlet of dead trees, a distant giraffe bull watches the approach of a rival. Shades of evening form around them. 1/13 at f/2.8; ISO 1250
A glowing morning of chaos; this successful scavenger looks on as secondary participants finish the remains of a large antelope kill made by a leopard during the night, 1/640 at f/4; ISO 500.
An often absent male leopard with impressive dominance in the surrounding areas, the Inyathini male, yawns into fading evening sunlight. 1/500 at f/4; ISO 800
Another leopard who originated in the Kruger National Park, he has established a large territory in the south eastern areas of Londolozi.
The harsh conditions and trying terrain are suddenly forgotten with a beautiful sight of a pristine zebra like this one. 1/1250 at f/5; ISO 200.