Yet again, the bush provided some incredible moments for us this past week. Lion dynamics are continuously shifting, leopard cubs are holding on day by day and wild dogs have been seen on a number of occasions. We have been truly spoilt! Furthermore, Wednesday 21 June marked the winter solstice in South Africa. This means from here onwards the days will, ever so slowly, begin to get longer again. An exciting thought! Not only did Wednesday 21 June mark the winter solstice, it was also World Giraffe Day. In honour of the gentle giants that roam across the landscape here, I feel it fitting to dedicate this Week in Pictures to all the giraffe across Africa. Here’s to them!
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The sun rises over the rolling hills. Mist is commonplace along the river at this time of year. It produces a mystical feel about the landscape and offers some great photographic opportunities. f6.3, 1/6400s, ISO 800. Photograph by Alex Jordan.
An Ntsevu lioness yawns shortly before getting up to mate with one of the young Avoca males, photographed behind her. Lionesses from the Ntsevu Pride have been seen mating with the Matshipiri males as well as the young Avoca males that recently arrived on Londolozi. The dynamics will be interesting to observe over the next while. f5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 1250. Photograph by Pete Thorpe.
The Inyathini male leopard crosses a dry riverbed on an early morning territorial patrol. This leopard continues to push his territory further and further north, putting pressure on the Piva male. f5, 1/250s, ISO 1000. Photograph by Amy Attenborough.
A little bee-eater sits perched on a branch. This small species of bee-eater will often sit on an elevated perch before swooping down to catch flying insects. f6.3, 1/100s, ISO 1250. Photograph by Alex Jordan.
Two cubs from the Tsalala Breakaway Pride play with one of the adult lionesses as the daylight fades. Cubs will play with each other and adults from a young age, honing vital coordination skills that will be used later in life when they begin to hunt. f8, 1/125s, ISO 1000. Photograph by Pete Thorpe.
A close-up of an elephant’s eye reveals some striking textures on the skin. f6.3, 1/1000s, ISO 500. Photograph by Alex Jordan.
A lioness from the Ntsevu pride looks back towards us. Making eye contact with a lion is a humbling experience that can only truly be understood when it happens to you. The morning light on the lioness’ face combined with the white plumes of grass make this one of my favourites. f5.6, 1/640, ISO 640. Photograph by Pete Thorpe.
A white rhino cow and her calf drink from a pan in the late afternoon. They are highly water dependent animals, seeking out water daily. f2.8, ISO 2000, 1/1600s. Photograph by James Tyrrell.
A leopard cub looks inquisitively towards us. This is one of the Tamboti female leopard’s two cubs. They were hidden away for hours, until one bravely climbed two metres into a tree, providing us with a once-in-a-lifetime sighting and a great photographic opportunity. f5.6, 1/400s, ISO1000. Photograph by Pete Thorpe.
A buffalo bull rests his chin on the back of another herd member. This is the sort of behaviour we often see males exhibit before mounting a female in oestrus. f6.3, 1/1000s, ISO500. Photograph by Alex Jordan.
The Flat Rock male leopard jumps up to rub against a Guarrie bush. This happened during an interaction with the Piva male leopard. The two males were having a territorial dispute, continuously growling and marking their territory by scent marking. In this picture, the Flat Rock male is seen jumping as high as possible, rubbing his face into the leaves, attempting to leave his scent high in the bush. This would theoretically make him seem bigger and would also make it difficult for other leopards to cover the scent with their own. f5.6, 1/500, ISO2000. Photograph by Pete Thorpe.
Two terrapins sun themselves on a small rock in the middle of the Sand River. These animals are ectothermic, meaning they require an external source of heat to warm their bodies. f7.1, 1/4000, ISO800. Photograph by Pete Thorpe.
The Inyathini male leopard gazes towards where hyenas move around below. This leopard was forced to pull his kill into a tree to avoid it being stolen by hyenas that had smelt the carcass. f5, 1/80s, ISO1600. Photograph by Pete Thorpe.
A magical scene as an elephant walks past a vehicle in the morning mist at sunrise. f5.6, 1/500s, ISO250. Photograph by Pete Thorpe.
The Nkoveni female leads her cubs to safety late one evening. Full bellies showed that they had been feeding on a kill somewhere, and the female took the cubs to a small confusion of boulders where she has left them numerous times before. f3.2, ISO 2500, 1/200s. Photograph by James Tyrrell
A journey of giraffe cross an open clearing. A truly elegant scene and a tribute to these wonderful animals in the wake of World Giraffe Day this past week. f5.6, 1/3200, ISO800. Photograph by Alex Jordan.