When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
Game viewing has been at an all-time high over the past week and as the land slowly dries we start to see images have gone from backgrounds of summer greens to the winter’s low luminous yellows.
I found this quote so fitting while I have incorporated photography into my guiding. As a guide, I use my words to help share some of the knowledge I have gained. It’s often only after this I will pick up my lens to capture the moment I have just interpreted. Often when shutters have silenced and narrative is complete, silence settles in and we are entranced by what we see.
Being content with silence is so important. Listening and observing can often teach you so much in the wild.
Enjoy This Week in Pictures.
The Three Rivers female yawns as she gets up from relaxing for the day to approach the near by pan for a drink. We left her walking into the dark shadows after having viewed her drink and scent mark.
These animals are incredible, every aspect of the calm demeanor when viewing them should inspire all of us to continue to fight to view these animals in their natural habitat.
The Ntsevu Pride sub-adults feed on a buffalo calf that they had managed to hunt and kill late one morning.
The claws of a leopard, body parts that are crucial in climbing trees and killing of prey, which were extremely necessary to achieve the scene captured here.
A hammerkop stares from a safe distance perched on this dead, fallen over tree. It was surrounded by a breeding herd of elephants. It seemed as if the hammerkop enjoyed watching them as much as we did.
The scary eyes of the Senegal Bush male as he feeds early one night.
A waterbuck bull shows off an impressive set of horns as he stares at our vehicle. This could be the biggest set of horns I’ve ever seen on a waterbuck.
The colouration of cheetah’s eyes is mesmerising, especially in dusk and dawn light. Having a high concentration of nerve cells leading to the optic nerve, it allows cheetahs to detect prey in open habitats that move against the horizon. Here this female does just that, allowing us to get a great view of those amber eyes.
One of the Birmingham males. As they get older it is becoming easier to tell them apart as one of the brothers is looking a lot more weathered than the other.
The hues of purple and blue between the sky and the hooded vulture’s face made this image so appealing to capture.
Having provided many sightings this week, the Senegal Bush male peaks over the crest of a termite mound while his whole face is covered in the golden light of a winter’s afternoon.
An African grey heron stands out against the contrast of a pan covered in duck weed.
The dynamics of the Ntsevu break-away sub adults are an interesting one. Having not completely broken off from their parents yet, it is anyone’s guess when we find lion tracks as to what part of the pride you may find. Here one of the sub-adult males rests on a termite mound while watching his 10 relatives walk up the two dusty vehicke tracks.
The Senegal Bush male stares at an approaching hyena. After having robbed the Nhlanguleni female of her impala kill, he descended the tree to rest in the shade, stopping half way down to stare.
A bit of a different angle as the Xinzele female looks ahead while lying up in a Marula Tree.
Golden evening light strikes this elephant while it uses the sand residue of a termite mound to dust bathe.
A hooded vulture sweeps down to land on a dead knob-thorn tree after having spotted the remains of the Senegal Bush males kill in a Marula.
One of the original lionesses of the Ntsevu pride rests near her sister who is currently raising 5 Cubs, seemingly on her own and doing a good job too.
A Kudu cow stares into the distance while the rest of the herd feeds on the shrubbery below.
With little remaining, this leopard finishes off a kill while balancing on the branches of a marula tree.
Light strikes the face of this elephant calf as two young males have a tussle in the foreground.
A white-fronted bee-eater pauses after catching a butterfly before swallowing it in one gulp.
As this young lioness sat on top of a termite mound, it gave me the opportunity to capture this image against a perfectly clear background.
Looks like a great week! Stunning shots Dean…the week of the open sky backdrops!
Wonderful photos, Dean. The more photos of all those animals I see, the more I want to see and the more animals I want to observe. And, yes, if one sits very still in a car and watches the animals in silence, the more they will reward you with their actions and presence.
A good example of the importance of silence I witnessed at Londolozi: There was quite some noise emanating from one car and the leopards that were about to mate, just continued sleeping for a very long time. In fact till the noise stopped because the car had moved away. It had hardly gone when the leopards rewarded the silent spectators with mating three times in a row. If we are allowed to witness the behavior of these wonderful animals we should show respect for them.
Dean, This week’s images are spectacular. Plus the leopard and lion stories continue to captivate us. We especially loved the image of the young lioness set against the bare background!
Oh lovely – favourites, the bee eater and the cheetah
Gorgeous foto’s Dean. Loved the elephant calf foto, also the young lioness on the termite mound. So happy to hear the Ntsevu female has five cubs and she raising them by herself. The Senegal bush male leopard s one of my favourite leopards, so majestic. But I must add that foto of the Waterbuck bull is absolutely stunning.
What a wonderful variety of pictures! Each one is great. The stories from Londolozi brighten each day and just last evening I was talking to our friend Mikevabout when we can safely get back to see you all. January 2033 is the target. Thank you for the wonderful photos! Victoria
Dean, your photographs this week are wonderful. You are right about silence, sometimes it is my best friend.
An abundance of diverse, well-framed photographs. Thank you, Dean
beautiful pictures again. I love the lioness with the clear background……………..
Ahhhh….such satisfying and truly striking photos Dean! Thank you!
Dean, loved lions🤗, loved the chetahs🤗
VERY impressive horns on that waterbuck! Thanks.
Beautiful captures this week! The hooded vultures and cheetah portrait being special favorites.
Lovely images this week, Dean. The wide range of animals viewed so reminds me of what a Londolozi visit is like…
Loved the photo of the interesting eyes of the cheetah as well as those of the Senegal Bush male on the termite mound.
Yey it’s leopard day! How many wonderful photos of these exquisite big cats… how different look the females from the Senegal bush male. Do you know what happened to his eye? The cheetah beats all. It is simply unique. I can’t stop watching it. The kudu bull is also magnificent, all the animals it’s difficult to choose… the rhino looks peaceful and its horns are as they should always be.great elephant shots
Oh my goodness these pictures are incredible. What a stunning variety. This post is the cherry on top of a wonderful week. Thank you Dean for sharing this.
WOW!!! What a composition in collection Dean! So different from the norm! The wildlife profiles upclose catch your breath, leaving you in awe!! It doesn’t get any more real than these pictures!
I think my two favorites are the young Ntsevu (sub-adult) chowing on his share of Buffalo. The cub’s look is priceless! Definitely a male, as he looks so excited and happy to have a meal! He looks to be saying,..”YUM YUM!!”
(in it’s own way Dean, this picture makes me cry, because Lion cubs and their mama’s have to struggle and sometimes go without a meal for days, not like most humans. Seeing the cubs in the sunshine, seeing them able to have a “delicious meal” is a God send of mental relief and joy. – I get that life in the Bush is rough for the animals, but for us, (as humans) knowing what Lionesses and their cubs have to go through to survive, IS a relative contrast to what is defined as “Poverty.”
Here in America, (especially right now with the Pandemic) families are struggling, many in “poverty,” but they are getting food assistance, so children are able to have food on the table to eat. This is the contrast I’m talking about.
Mama Lionesses have to trudge for miles (sometimes??) to tackle a kill and then summon her “children” to have a meal. And of course, if it’s a large pride, the cubs don’t always get their share. How they endure and survive is just unfathomable! – All said, what you captured is a wonderful sight.
My other favorite is Mama Ntsevu having a moment of peace, (while her cubs are about and about frolicking..??).
Please forgive me, but being a cat lover, I’m a tad biase when I see the collective mannerisms within the Lions, Leopards and the Cheetahs.
I myself have a (domestic cat) that is 5/8’s Savannah. Although she has learned “domestic life,” she does has her “Lineage moments” that catch me off guard. Her eyes swell up (literally looking like a Leopard) and She’ll lunge out and attack JUST LIKE a wild cat in the bush. When she grasps on to my arm and hand, YIKES! She drills her “raptor claw” into my skin at the same time she sunk her front canine and tore at me! (She just did this two nights ago). All I could think was, “and this is a domesticated cat! ?? I could actually see how deep her fang went in, and how far she tore my arm! I don’t know what possessed her but,.. boy oh boy! Maybe she needed her fix of fresh blood and flesh?
In comparison, I can only imagine what the internal force of a big cat’s swat and sinking bite must feel like when one attacks another cat or they’re attacking and tearing at their kill!”
The beauty of Lionesses and the other cats is one thing. The reality of their internal disposition is something else. This is the silent aspect of thought about observing wild life. Especially those with paws and claws.
Yes, we must fight to keep them in the wild. My husband and I think these are some of the very best pictures!
Incredible photographs Dean..truely incredible! The cats certainly dominate this week but all the others are equally gorgeous. Well done, you must be super chuffed and so you should be! Thanks for sharing 🙏🏻💗
Great selection of photos Dean! Great to see the Senegal Bush (aka Kunyuma) Male doing so well! Has he fathered (or potentially fathered) any cubs yet? Also, do the adult Ntsevu female tolerate the female sub-adults (though I suppose some are nearly young adults) around the five cubs?
Thanks for the excellent photos.
I enjoyed all the photographs that were taken, but my favorite was the black & white of the Birmingham male lion.
What a week of sightings! You’ve captured some fantastic images, especially the detailed ones. The framing of the elephant calf is perfect.
Dean, thank you for a stunning week of photos. Your photos are outstanding. You truly have a talent for capturing your subjects well. Just amazing. Visiting Londolozi is definitely on my bucket list. To see these beautiful animals is a privilege.
Wonderful photos. I especially love the close-ups where the texture and soul of these stunning creatures can really been seen and appreciated. I also love the quote from Ansel Adams. I love a silent game drive where you can truly bask in the sights, sounds and smell of nature.
Love the pics this week! The Nstevu lioness’ portrait up against the sky is especially beautiful!