” It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that it makes life worth living.” – Sir David Attenborough
I’d like to start off the Week in Pictures by remembering a fallen South African hero. Joost van der Westhuizen passed away on Monday at the age of 45. Once South Africa’s most-capped Springbok, record try scorer and captain of the national team, Joost won the Rugby World Cup with South Africa in 1995 and was part of a team that transformed the country in a very difficult period in our history. He also captained the Blue Bulls to the Currie Cup title in 1998 and 2002 and led the Springboks into battle at the World Cup in 1999, retiring at the end of the Rugby World Cup in 2003. He will always be remembered for a famous tackle on the great Jonah Lomu and for the pass that led us to a famous world cup final win over the All Blacks of New Zealand.
I would like to dedicate this Week in Pictures to a legend, a hero and one of the greatest Springbok rugby players to have ever graced our fields. Long may his memory live on. RIP Joost!
I hope you all enjoy this Week in Pictures.
One of the Matshipiri male lions, looking quite battle scarred. Fighting for territory, mating with females and scrapping over kills are just some of the ways these males end up with this sort of appearance.
Although the peak of the rutting season is around April and May, this slightly younger male was photographed chasing a weaker male around, possibly training for the months ahead.
Young impalas, which bundle together into small nursery groups, flee from a young leopard. Despite being young, they are still incredibly nimble, fast and alert.
A male village weaver displays on his beautifully constructed nest as a female approaches. Once the males have completed the nest, they will hang from it and call, thereby attempting to show the females that it is sturdy enough to house her eggs and chicks.
The Mashaba young female finds some shade and a comfortable spot to rest in the heat of the day.
Two African wild dogs watch a herd of impalas in the distance. These animals rely on tenacity to hunt and can keep up a steady pace of 50km/hr. They therefore tire their prey out rather than using the stalk and pounce method.
“RUN!” The ostrich family spooked by something in the early morning. We’ve seen these birds run from lions, leopards, jackals and recently even a black mamba.
Three of the Majingilane males lying on the edge of our airstrip. The fourth member of the coalition, the Hip Scar male, is currently in very bad condition in the western sector of the Sabi Sands and we wait to see if he can make a come back.
Early morning light combined with the sand kicked up as this zebra dust bathed, led to a beautiful photographic opportunity. We are so often taught not to photograph into the light but in certain situations it can work.
The Piva male walks on a road slightly higher than our position, allowing us this low angle. It’s an incredible experience to be eye level with a leopard.
Two hippo bulls clash in one of the waterholes. Their sizeable tusks can end up causing major damage to one another.
A female giraffe feeds off a Buffalo Thorn. Despite these trees having intense hook-like thorns, they are incredibly sweet and nutritious and giraffes have thus adapted to be able to handle the thorns.
The young male cub of the Xidulu female stalks his sister in the long grass. This stalk and pounce play is crucial for practising the skills that will help them to successfully catch prey in the future.
Having been viewed by vehicles from an early age, this leopard is supremely relaxed around Land Rovers.
Directly descended from the original mother leopard and therefore part of the royal lineage of Londolozi.