“Wilderness, in whatever way we describe it, becomes a chance for human beings to redeem their humanity. It is a place where we go to contemplate our origins, examine our past, and plan our future. It is manna for the soul and hope for all life.” – Ian Player
In my time spent at Londolozi, the above quote has not only become more relevant to me but has also become a part of my everyday life; joy in a place I get to call home. With my first TWIP, I get to share this joy in the images that I hope encapsulate the moments that everybody who has experienced time with wildlife can relate to.
For every journey there’s a beginning, which means there is room for improvement. I am at the early stages of both my guiding career and taking my first tentative steps into wildlife photography, both of which I am excited about! The growth and experiences I am going to encounter will be endless. With a newly bought camera and a few tips from the team here, I’m excited for the challenges to come.
Here is to the start of the TWIP’s of 2019.
Enjoy this Week In Pictures…
One of the formidable Birmingham brothers gazes intently over the Sand River at the departing Tsalala lioness that he had spent the past several days mating with.
Not often does one get a close view of a Martial Eagle, yet on this particular afternoon this one was perched motionless and we were able to admire the sheer size and intricate features of the biggest eagle we get at Londolozi.
The Tatowa young male lay full-bellied on a Marula branch; all of us could not help but be drawn to the unique colouration of his eyes. Newly independent, we have been seeing this leopard down in the Southern reaches of the property.
I’m cheating a bit as this was from more than a week ago, but I wanted to include it nonetheless as I doubt I’ll ever get another chance to see something like it. A mother pangolin with a pup riding on her back, and more specifically the pup giving an incredible demonstration of the length of its tongue.
A male ostrich feeds on the leaves of a Tree Wisteria. Ostriches will often feed on stone or any grit; once eaten these collect in the gizzard, a thick-walled muscular part of a bird’s stomach. This will aid in grinding down the food.
A rare glimpse into the brotherhood of the Birmingham males as they meet after a long night of patrolling their territory. A lifelong bond.
Just on the edges of the Leadwood Forest of northern Londolozi, an African Barred Owlet soaks up the golden light that shines through the woody tree canopies.
The Ndzanzeni young male rests up on a termite mound. The beauty in his eyes while he stares intently is what really stands out for me in this photograph.
A battle between bull hippos can be a vicious scene to watch. Thankfully with the rain we’ve had over the last few days, conflicts like this will become much rarer as there is now a lot more space for the hippos to cohabit.
With temperatures reaching well over 43 degrees Celsius, many animals are rejoicing in the pans of water that have developed from the recent rains. This hyena chose this pan to keep cool during a hot summer’s day.
When taking a photo, you do not want any distractions in front of the animal’s face. In this image I found the grass less of a distraction and more of a guidance to the gaze and golden eye of the Flat Rock Male as he rested on a inactive termite mound.
A leopard who took advantage of the death of the 4:4 male in 2016 to grab territory to the west of the Londolozi camps.
This photo was taken just before the big rains when this particular waterhole was still at a low level. The elephant bull seemed to take great delight in
A Red-Billed Oxpecker raises his head up from feeding on parasites on this buffalo bull. What also cannot go unnoticed is the interesting colours that formed on the base of the buffalo’s horns, rubbed off from branches of a nearby tree.
Caught in the afternoon light, the Totawa female. She uses the height advantage on this termite mound to scan her surroundings. It provided a great opportunity to capture her with clear blue skies in the background.
The Tatowa female was one of a litter of three females born in early 2012 to the Ximpalapala female of the north.
Sometimes simply black and white or white and black – however you see it – can provide the greatest of beauty you in the bush. Many of the animals we view are achromatopsic (only seeing in black and white) and it can be a good experience to see how THEY view the world.
After climbing on top of fallen over tree to use it as a vantage point, the Mashaba female then focused her eyes on a nearby Grey Duiker.
The Mashaba female is currently Londolozi’s best known leopard. Her relaxed nature means she is comfortable around the camps and vehicles.
Tree Squirrels are known to hoard food during the winter months. What they will often do is first bite the seeds or nuts open and lick and rub them before burying their treasure in the ground. This ‘pantry’ of seeds and nuts is sometimes not retrieved and come spring, new sprouts will often appear where squirrels have buried their forgotten winter food.
The Makomsava female leopard – a resident of Londolozi’s northern sector – hugs a branch of a Marula tree as she stares with her eyes fixed on something in the distance.