Once again, this week has provided some photographic splendour allowing the rangers to explore a bit of creativity. From amazing sightings of not only the large but also the smaller and lesser noticed little creatures.
We have some great sightings of a few leopards, where we enjoy the Three Rivers Female and her cub, along with a sighting of the Ximungwe Young Male in a dead leadwood which blew many people away. The Senegal Bush Male was also found resting up in a large marula tree allowing for some great photographic opportunities.
After a long period of dormancy, the African bullfrogs are beginning to emerge now that there is a substantial amount of water around. An elephant crosses the Sand River as the water levels rise, birdlife that has been spectacular and a mother cheetah and her cub.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
The cub of the Three Rivers Female crosses the road to join back up with his mother. She’d stashed him safely away in a thicket while she went hunting and we were lucky enough to watch her returning to collect the youngster and take him to the kill.
Forced into early independence as her mother was killed by the Southern Avoca Males.
I’m not quite sure what my favourite bird is but these White-fronted Bee-eaters are definitely up there. They enjoy a particular place close to the sand river, downstream from the camps, where they dust bath in the sandy road. Getting down low and eye level with them makes all the difference to the photograph, the only problem is that they feel quite vulnerable on the ground which makes them difficult to get close to.
The colours of the White-fronted Bee-eater are quite exquisite. We sat and watched this one as it hunted flying insects from the vantage point of an open branch in the soft evening sunlight.
This mother cheetah and her cub scanned the horizon for any potential threat or prey. It was a windy day and they had to be extra alert.
A hyena den in the north is active once again, as we arrived one of the cubs came out to get a good look at us before settling down at the entrance.
With the Sand River flowing strongly over the causeway river crossing, we were able to park in the middle giving us a great opportunity to photograph this elephant bull as he began to cross through the water.
The cloudy weather and poor light we’ve had recently forces you to try something different with your images. Here, the plaque rock female scans her surroundings from the top of a termite mound. The feather-topped chloris grass that often grows out of the mounds added an interesting element to the silhouette.
A pretty young playful female found along the river to the east of camp
The intricateness of a spiders web is fascinating. After some gentle rain throughout the evening, the strands of web held the droplets of water with a bark spider sitting right in the middle.
After finding the Senegal Bush Male at the top of a marula tree where he was resting, he eventually got to his feet and came down out of the tree.
Initially seen as a young male in 2016, this leopard only properly established territory on Londolozi in mid-2019
Pausing for a brief moment in the fork of the tree before he made a very clumsy descent.
While sitting with the Senegal Bush Male, this dragonfly caught our attention off to the side of our vehicle. This image didn’t come out quite the way I wanted – if you look carefully you’ll notice that the insects head isn’t in focus but his tail is! He was quite far away so I forgive myself for the error. However, while I didn’t get the shot, my guest managed to get a phenomenal one which we touched up in the photo studio and printed onto a beautiful canvas afterwards for him to take home.
The Ximungwe Young Male had been lurking in an area where there are a number of large dead leadwood trees. It is most photographers dream to have a leopard draped over the branches of a dead leadwood as the contrast and textures make for such amazing photography.
A European Roller perches on a branch. The striking blue of the European was drawn out by the dark bull green background.
Now that summer is in full swing, animals of all shapes and sizes are out and about. A puff adder slowly moves across the road early in the morning.
Driving home we were fortunate enough to watch this Verreaux’s Eagle Owl land right above us. We watched as it bobbed its head up in down in order to get a better view of us. Owls can not move their eyes within their socket thus they need to move their head to see from side to side or up or down.
The Ximungwe Female had just left her cub to go and hunt. As soon as she left this cub climbed such a thin combretum tree showing how agile leopards can be, so that it could watch its mother disappear off into the distance.
A young male hyena stares longingly up at a kill hanging in a marula tree just above him.
Tracker Rob “Prof” Hlatshwyao and I were so excited when he spotted this incredibly unique individual. African Bullfrogs are something of a rarity here and seeing this one poised on the edge of this mud wallow, potentially freshly emerged from an underground winter slumber, was a real treat!