“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera” – Dorothea Lange
Why do we take photographs? Each individual will have a different answer to this question but my preferred reason includes and has a similar outlook to the above quote. Photography captures a moment and a story that can be retold to the ones not fortunate to have witnessed it themselves. It encapsulates the beauty of this environment we few are so privileged to experience. It allows you to tell a story over and over again until hopefully one day others can experience such moments first hand.
This safari environment is ever changing. One game drive is never the same as the next and therefore we maximize every opportunity on getting out on safari. The thrill and exhilaration on what lies around the next corner keeps the feeling alive. This last week has been no different. The bounty of young antelope showing off their cute miniature adult versions engage us in awe, yet provide easy pickings for predators. The dawn chorus of birds peaks on the hot mornings we have been experiencing, as the bush continues to grow in greenery. Leopards, lions, warthog piglets, impala lambs and wildebeest calves are just a few of the highlights.
This week’s TWIP takes on a slightly different approach. It is a collaboration of a few images captured while on safari with a well known Russian wildlife photographer over the last couple weeks as well as the most current moments shared over the last few days. So unwind, marvel at the moments captured and enjoy the start to the weekend.
Enjoy the Week in Pictures…
Oh yes, and before we forget, the bird in this week’s Bird Quiz was a Black Sparrowhawk. Congratulations to those who got it right…
Many people when faced with the above scene cast cameras aside as there appears to be no photograph possible. If you look closer there is a photograph that tells a story. A clear gap focusing on this Birmingham male lion’s eye is all that’s needed.
Summer is about abundance and vibrancy. An open clearing and fresh grass attracts an array of animals. Impala in the distance, zebra as well as a rhino all gather to feed on the new grass shoots.
The Nkoveni female and her cub have provided a spectacle of late. The playful behaviour of the cub can keep one entertained for hours. Both leopards played in an open clearing. This develops their bond and harnesses skills learnt.
A young female that lives to the east and south of camp. Easily recognised by her 2:2 spot pattern she is often to be found in Marula trees.
December is a time when warthogs give birth. The miniature versions of adults will get everyone in awe as they play and grunt.
Wild dogs cool off on a hot morning. Many animals of close relation will play with one another. It rekindles bonds, stretches muscles, develops rank and aids in their skills at hunting when it matters most. Two wild dogs jump up as they cool themselves off in a small waterhole.
Although we haven’t had the rain we were expecting the thunderstorms continue to taunt us. A mud filled pan with textured cracks and a dramatic sky provided the perfect scene to capture a photo. Capturing a lightning bolt to add to this image was pure luck.
The Londolozi airstrip can provide some brilliant clean photography. Be it a silhouette or a well exposed image of a Birmingham male lion as he saunters towards us.
It’s been hot. Very hot. Not only do we enjoy cooling ourselves off in a plunge pool after game drive but one can find a number of hyenas doing the same in a local waterhole.
Two of the newest additions to the Ntsevu pride gather at a waterhole to quench their thirst. Still intrigued by their reflection they took some time before taking a sip.
There are different ways of capturing a scene or a mood. Back-light on the mane of this Birmingham male lion while he lifts his head to smell the oncoming breeze as the rain begins to pour. A slow shutter speed accentuates the rain droplets.
New additions to the impala population. Young and as yet unaware of dangers makes the impala lambs an easy target for many predators.
A successful hunt for the Mashaba female leopard as she walks towards a tree adjacent to where we parked.
The Mashaba female is currently Londolozi’s best known leopard. Her relaxed nature means she is comfortable around the camps and vehicles.
With water levels not being replenished by much rain it allows for tempers to flare as two hippo bulls compete for females and dominance over a waterhole.
The dappled effect of this image accentuates why a leopard’s rosettes blend so well into this environment. When there was a gap through a green bush it provided a natural frame for capturing the intense beauty of the eyes of the Ingrid Dam young female.
Textures. Breaking the uniform texture of these mud-cracks an African jacana with colours of white, blue and tawny searches for insects hiding in the cracks.
Inquisitive nature and restlessness is that of young leopard cubs. One of the Nhlanguleni female’s cubs climbed in and out of this Russet Bushwillow. When the cub stared back at us for a split second it allowed for the opportunity of capturing the intensity of the stare.
Drying pans means that fish are close to the surface. Many birds are attracted to this and feed on the bounty of young fish. This pied kingfisher was no different as it darted into the water from a height before beating its catch on a nearby log and swallowing it whole.
Three little hyena cubs might change one’s idea of what hyenas are. Their cute inquisitive nature keeps one engaged for long. How could one say hyenas are ugly?
A dream photograph. The Nhlanguleni female utilities this dead tree as a vantage point to scan for any potential prey or threat. Although not the greatest hiding spot, was she possibly looking for her two cubs?
Born to the Tutlwa female in early-mid 2011, the Nhlanguleni female spent her formative months (and years) in and around the Sand River.
It continues to amaze me at how quickly an impala lamb gets to its feet and starts running alongside its mother. This is vital as from only a minute old it is vulnerable to predation.
A unique natural frame. The Tatowa young male leopard sneaks past a bull elephant as it continues to feed. It appeared as if the elephant didn’t even recognize the movement of the leopard as it kept feeding away.
Again a natural frame as this young elephant calf stands up from sleeping. Young calves will sleep multiple times in the day. Its trunk is still not in full use as it takes many years of mastering over 40,000 muscles.