Technically, this Week in Pictures is a lie. It’s actually about 3 weeks in pictures.
However, I feel that given that I am supposed to have a job other than going on game drive, I’d best at least say that to keep the bosses happy…
Working in the finance department means I’m not out there as much as the rangers, which has its pros and cons. The major con is obviously that I don’t get to spend as much time in the bush, but on the plus side, I constantly find that there are new faces out there that I have never encountered before, or have seldom seen. The Ingrid Dam female and her cub are two such examples, yet in the space of a few days we had two amazing sightings of them.
When I was guiding full-time the territorial female in the area in which the Ingrid Dam female now resides was a much more skittish leopard, so it’s nice to know that the individual currently occupying that territory is far more viewable.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The Nanga Young Female rests on a fallen log as the sun sets behind her. This is the first cub that the Nanga female has successfully raised to independence, and with her mother controlling the majority of the north of the reserve, there will hopefully be ample space for her to establish her own territory in. f4.5, 1/800s, ISO 640
Lying just a few meters from the young female, wallowing in a pool of water was this hyena, seemingly full from a recent meal. Perhaps it had stolen a kill from the leopard; we don’t know. It was a great example of two potentially dangerous species totally at peace within a very short distance of each other, when the need to compete was simply not there. f4.5, 1/800s, ISO 2500
Until this month, I had never seen the Ingrid Dam Female; here she has just hoisted a freshly killed Common Duiker into a marula tree. A drag mark across the road – one of the most exciting tracks to follow – led tracker Richard Mtabina to where she was concealing the carcass, and we arrived just in time to see her hoist it up into the branches as the sun began to dip… f5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 320
After its mother had hoisted the duiker kill, the Ingrid Dam Young Female looked on inquisitively from a nearby termite mound. For a young leopard that hasn’t been seen all that much during her formative months, she is wonderfully relaxed when being viewed from the Land Rovers. f5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 3200
The leadwood forest on Makomsava provides the perfect setting for a lone elephant bull feeding on fresh summer grass. Take a look at Kylie Jones’ post from a couple of weeks ago; Photographic tips from the Londolozi Guides. Zooming out to capture an animal in its environment is often the best way to tell the story… f4.5, 1/800s, ISO 800
After no previous sightings, we had two in a few days of the Ingrid Dam Female and her cub. Here the cub gets a better view of an impala herd from some rocks at the foot of Ximpalampala Koppie. f5.6, 1/250s, ISO 800
Earlier in the month we had the most incredible rainbow over Londolozi. After some maneuvering I managed to get this Klipsringer lined up with the rainbow in the background. f5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 400
A second shot of the elephant bull at Makomsava, this time feeding towards us. He was a large elephant, yet was still dwarfed by the towering leadwood trees and Jackalberries that grew in and around this grove. f4.5, 1/800s, ISO 400
Another leopard I had not seen much of before; this was the first photo I have taken of the Anderson Male. Still relatively shy at the best of times, we will sometimes go a month without seeing him, even though he patrols probably 80% of Londolozi’s northern section. The quintessential leopard, he spends the majority of his life preferring not to be seen… f5.6, 1/400s, ISO 200
The low light as this pack of wild dogs set off on a hunt allowed for a panning shot with a slow shutter speed, providing the motion blur and enhancing the feeling of movement. f5.6, 1/50s, ISO 6400
Sometimes a long lens isn’t always necessary. This wide angle shot of the same rainbow scene provides more context and a better view of the Klipspringer’s (translated to “stone jumper”) rocky habitat. f5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 400
One of the Mhangeni lionesses sits through some light rain, backlit using a spotlight. These females are repeating their behaviour from a couple of years ago, spending more and more time away from their sub-adult offspring. Could we be seeing the forming of a new pride in the form of their 3 daughters? The 9 male sub-adults will surely leave and attempt to form their own coalition. Imagine how powerful they could be… f5.6, 1/160s, ISO 2000
Sometimes the conditions just line-up perfectly. The same lionesses shakes herself off after the shower had passed by. f5.6, 1/320s, ISO 2000