For the last week I have been part of a safari that has further entrenched my love of the bush as well as my passion for photography. Together with excellent tracker Rich Mtabeni, we have been heading out each day with Angela and Ed from New York, as well as expert photographic tutor, Etienne Oosthuizen from Africa Photographic Services.
No strangers to being behind the lens, it was, however, Angela and Ed’s first safari and to see the smiles and looks of disbelief as they saw all the different animals for the first time was a small reminder of just how spoilt we are to live and work in this breathtaking environment.
The thing that I have loved most about the last week is having the luxury of time. We have had eight days to explore the length and breadth of Londolozi in search of absolutely anything to photograph. We never had to rush, unless it was trying to catch up to Wild dogs, and some of the best sightings have not actually been with leopards or lions which usually provide the highlights of any safari.
We have chased sunrises and been enthralled by the aerial antics of the Lilac-Breasted Roller. We have photographed White-fronted Bee-Eaters catching insects and seen the green start to emerge after the first summer rains. We have experimented with wide angles and panoramics and watched in amusement as Etienne challenged himself to get a sharp photo of a flying dung beetle whilst driving and without the aid of beanbag. We have stitched pictures together and sprawled ourselves on the ground to get eye level with hippos and tonight we are hoping for clear skies to capture some photos of the biggest supermoon in 68 years! Most of all we have just enjoyed being in the presence of beauty and finding different ways to capture it.
I hope you enjoy our collective photo journal from the last 8 days.
The flying dung beetle that Etienne somehow managed to get a sharp photo of! The fact that he was shooting handheld in a moving vehicle made this photo that much more incredible. Photograph by Etienne Oosthuizen
Sunsets at Londolozi are a photographer’s dream. Photograph by Etienne Oosthuizen
We have been incredibly lucky to have had a few sightings of Wild Dogs. Most of the time we were just trying to keep up with them but here one chose a beautiful resting spot at sunset. Photograph by Ed Bramson
One of the most incredible sightings we have had was watching this pack of 24 Wild dogs wake up and start playing with each other as the sun set in the background. Photograph James Souchon
Closer is not always better! An elephant bull is framed perfectly by the dense bush as he feeds. Photograph by Angela Pearson-Bramson
A Kudu bull stands majestically on a termite mound listening carefully for any sounds that would signal a threat to him. Photograph by Angela Pearson-Bramson
Expert tracker Rich Mthabeni examines the track of a male leopard we were searching for. Photograph by Etienne Oosthuizen
One of the Majingilane male lions walks past Ranger Nick Sims and his guests. Photograph by James Souchon
Angela rented a Nikon 600mm lens from our Photographic studio and was able to capture some incredible photos with it. Photograph by Etienne Oosthuizen
We sat watching these white fronted bee-eaters catching butterflies and other insects. Photograph by James Souchon
Another white-fronted bee-eater swoops in to catch an unsuspecting butterfly. Photograph by Angela Pearson-Bramson
The same group of white-fronted bee-eater’s that kept us entertained for the better part of an hour. Photograph by Etienne Oosthuizen
After the recent rains there are lots of puddles for animals to drink from such as this one. Photograph by Angela Pearson-Bramson
Richard Mthabeni enjoying sunrise on what would prove to be a beautiful sunny morning in the bush. Photograph by James Souchon
The Roller family of birds gets their name because of this characteristic behaviour. Aerial displays to attract mates and ward off intruders are performed by ‘rolling’ through the air as they dive bomb towards the ground. Photograph by James Souchon
A successful hunt for this Lilac-breasted Roller. Photograph by Etienne Oosthuizen
The above four series of photos show the Anderson male mating with the Ingrid Dam female this morning. Photographs by Angela Pearson-Bramson
Unofficially the biggest leopard in the Sabi Sands, the Anderson male is an absolutely enormous individual in north western Londolozi.
She is occasionally seen around the far north west corner of Londolozi, and is generally quite relaxed around vehicles.
Not being a regular visitor to Londolozi we were pleasantly surprised to come across this Kori Bustard on one morning game drive. Photograph by James Souchon
Getting eye-level with your subject is always a great idea if you can. We sat on the ground at a safe distance away from this pod of hippos to get this shot. Photograph by Angela Pearson-Bramson
Photographing hippos at eye-level. Photograph by James Souchon
Young curiosity. Photograph by Ed Bramson
The devil is in the details. An interesting perspective of a feeding elephant allowed us to examine is hairy bottom lip. Photograph by Etienne Oosthuizen
An African Fish-Eagle scanning the water for prey. Photograph by Angela Pearson-Bramson
A Giraffe at full stretch feeding off the upper branches of a Knob-Thorn. Photograph by Angela Pearson-Bramson
The Piva male slowly waking up as darkness approaches. Photograph by Angela Pearson-Bramson
Directly descended from the original mother leopard and therefore part of the royal lineage of Londolozi.
Chasing after another male this impala leaped straight across the road in front of us. Photograph by Etienne Oosthuizen