So it seems there was a hiccup as we approached the 300th edition of The Week in Pictures. A glitch in the system. Our system.
We’ll reveal all next week, but felt we’d have to get all our ducks in a row first, and as such didn’t feel it was right to title today’s post as number 300, hence the .5.
You’ll understand completely when the number 300 actually arrives, but that isn’t today. Check back in next week is all we’re saying.
For now though, enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The Nkoveni cubs continue to develop their tree-climbing skills. With the looming threat of the encroaching Inyathini male, the future for these cubs is far from certain. Still unaware of their predicament, they managed to find time for some play while their mother was out hunting. Photograph by Rob Jeffery
A prolonged game of catch-me-if-you-can through this bare marula served both to disperse excess energy as well as to practice skill they’ll need when avoiding danger and hoisting kills into trees. Photograph by Rob Jeffery
A beautiful African Rock Python, high in the branches of a weeping boer bean tree. These snakes are going to be seen more and more, as this is their mating season, and when the rains and proper warm weather arrive in a couple of months’ time, we will be seeing far more young ones emerge as well. Photograph by Fin Lawlor.
The ugliness of many vulture species precludes them from being in many people’s “favourite birds” lists, and as a result their importance in the natural cycle is often overlooked. This hooded vulture is certainly one of the less aesthetically appealing, yet is a vital component of the food chain. Photograph by James Souchon
With the rains still a month or two away, the activity around permanent water sources is steadily on the rise. Here two grey herons stabilise themselves on two convenient fishing perches in the Sand River. Photograph by James Souchon
A young African Jacana moves along the bank of the Sand River. Its enormously elongated toes that enable it to wade out onto the lily pads and other aquatic plants are very evident here. Photograph by James Souchon.
A startled hippo breaks cover from the reeds and lunges back towards a deeper pool. It is amazing how such a dangerous animal still feels so vulnerable when out of its aquatic habitat and is so easily startled as a result. Photograph by Fin Lawlor
A rhino bull moves between middens, while a blacksmith lapwing sits atop its nest in the foreground. Lapwings are notoriously defensive of their nests and chicks, and will bravely attack far larger animals than themselves, even pecking something as big as this rhino. Fortunately for the eggs he lumbered past without incident. Photograph by James Tyrrell
Nick Kleer and guests watch a Tsalala Breakaway lioness cross the Sand River in front of them. Nick had got himself in a great position for this sighting, as the photo he got pretty much at this exact moment will prove. It’ll be out on the blog in the next week or so… Photograph by James Tyrrell
Shortly after crossing the river, the lions were chased by two elephant bulls, but the Tailless female and her cubs found time to grab a quick drink from the river before moving off into the reedbeds for the day. Photograph by James Tyrrell
Thousands upon thousands of red billed queleas are flocking down to the banks of the Sand River to drink every evening. In the last 10 years at Londolozi we have never seen such a profusion of these little seedeaters (the most abundant wild bird in the world!), and we are sure their population explosion is connected with increased seedbanks on the heels of the drought. Photograph by James Tyrrell
A large crocodile basks on the bank of a waterhole whilst still others can be seen behind it and to the side. The large number of crocodiles currently in this dam are unlikely to remain, as they will impact the fish population relatively soon and be forced to seek a food source elsewhere. Photograph by James Tyrrell
The Tamboti female uses her tail to balance herself as she descends from a higher fork in this marula tree. She had been stashing a small kill up here and had left her cubs nearby after they were scared off by a hyena that had come in to investigate the smell of blood. Photograph by James Tyrrell
A quick glance at the prowling hyena before scurrying up a nearby marula tree to safety. Photograph by James Tyrrell
One of the cubs (the other is indistinguishable in the top right of the tree as its silhouette has merged with those of the branches) peers down to where the hyena was prowling. Photograph by James Tyrrell