“It’s the Circle of Life and it moves us all, through despair and hope, through faith and love, till we find our place on the path unwinding.” – Rafiki, The Lion King
Using the Lion King as a quote almost seems a bit cliché, but I heard this quote and found it super fitting for this Week in Pictures. Many guests, if not all of them, come on safari to experience everything that is embedded in this quote. The wilderness does move us and often a place like Londolozi is the perfect unwinding for not only its guests but staff too. Being able to capture images and edit them is something that gives me a great sense of relaxation. Some of the moments I have captured this week will forever hold a special place in me and it just reminds me how life in the wild can be the perfect place to be.
The past week’s game viewing has been at an all-time high. We are super fortunate at the moment, as most females that we regularly see on the reserve currently have cubs of varying ages. Although sometimes spending time on neighbouring reserves, this week we have had the fortune of a stormy night resulting in favourable hunting conditions for the predators and the aftermath saw us finding four different leopard kills, all of which were on Londolozi. It is hard to complain about the cub viewing being what it currently is. As we soon approach the summer months and rain, we start to notice spring flowers blossom, and the elephant herds are seen cooling off daily in the Sand River and feeding on its banks.
Winter is almost behind us and just before the contrasts of yellows become the hues of green, I have tried to capture the unbelievably exceptional week for viewing animals on the first week of spring 2021.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The unique birthmark in the Ximungwe Female’s cub’s eye captures me and my guests every time we are able to view him.
Having been viewed by vehicles from an early age, this leopard is supremely relaxed around Land Rovers.
White-backed Vultures hoard around a dead giraffe that most likely died of natural causes. With over 60 vultures dotted around, trying to focus on one amongst the business seemed like the best image at the time.
Something I am very new to but every time I get out at night and take some star photography, it becomes more and more enjoyable. Having some photographic fun on the airstrip with a guest late one evening, we managed to take some images just before the clouds ruined the fun.
Two of a litter of three Nstevu cubs rest on each other as they watch their sibling jump on Mom’s back.
Wildebeest pause their morning grazing as we drive past them, we had to stop to watch this beautiful scene coupled with an insane sunrise.
One of two cubs from the Nkoveni’s Female stares at some Kudu bulls in the distance. What I love about this photo is it defines the beginning of spring. With the bright yellow flowers and green leaves of a Long-tailed Cassia tree. This tree is one of the first trees to get its leaves and is a sure indicator to all of us that summer is fast approaching.
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.
Taking the afternoon to relax on the causeway that runs as the crossing from the South to the North can be one of the most rewarding afternoons. Not only is it the most beautiful setting, but birdlife is abundant. Watching Pied-kingfishers fish is almost a given.
One of the Birmingham males put his head up for a few minutes to roar with his brother following suit. With Ranger Nick Sims shining his spotlight we were able to get a side-lit image of him.
The Senegal Bush Male with his usual intimidating stare, this time not at us but rather the warthog family in the distance.
Initially seen as a young male in 2016, this leopard only properly established territory on Londolozi in mid-2019
A giraffe bull feeds on the flowers of a Knob-thorn Tree, during the last few weeks of August in the Lowveld, Knob-thorns stick out amongst the landscape as their flowers blossom earlier than most other tree species in the surrounds.
The Piccadilly Female rests on a rock, we were somehow able to maneuver the vehicle to just allow us to capture this moment between all the surrounding shrubbery.
This female is most often encountered near the Sand River to the east of the Londolozi camps.
If you have ever been lucky enough to view the Senegal Bush Male leopard, you will understand that his eyes have this incredible intensity. Pictured amongst the tree trunks, you get to see part of that intimidating look.
The Xinzele Female who hasn’t been seen as regularly in the recent past, (hoping she still has cubs somewhere) rests up and creates a picture-perfect moment as the sun slowly descends.
A small female often found in NW Marthly. Similar spot pattern to her mother the Ingrid Dam Female.
A herd of elephants joined where we were having our coffee. Oblivious to us and super relaxed, from a safe distance we were able to enjoy watching them drinking and get some photos to capture the scene.
Watching as the Senegal Bush Male steals his mother’s kill in the tree, the morning light halos the Ximungwe Female’s cub.
After scent marking and scraping his legs in a midden, a small dust cloud followed which allowed for the perfect black and white image setting the scene.
The Piccadilly Female drinks murky water within the sand river. Her cub was not too far away, although just over a year now, the cub is still relatively skittish of vehicles so we settled to just watch her drink, which in my opinion, was an unbelievable sighting.