Happy New Year everyone!
I hope the Festive Season was a magical one for everyone. This week we celebrate a fantastic selection of images highlighting the lush greenery that adorns the landscape currently. With a healthy amount of rain falling thus far saturating the earth, grass sends forth emerald green blades while culms extend skywards donning their inflorescences. Shrubbery and trees dense with foliage are the perfect backdrops.
Now turning to the actual wildlife at the core of each image, elephants, hippos, giraffes, and buffalos are thriving and loving the summertime pleasures of food everywhere you look and water never too far away. Dung beetles with an abundance of their favourites too. Vervet monkeys groom their babies. Klipspringers at sunset. All making for great photographic opportunities.
On the predator front, the Ndzhenga Males continue to patrol their territory, making their presence known in the hopes of warding off any rivals. A Ntsevu Female spends her afternoon resting near a waterhole before setting off on an evening mission.
The Flat Rock Male strides across a set of large boulders in an amazing scene. The gaping yawn of the Ximungwe Female as she rests on a termite mound. The Maxim’s Male enjoys an impala carcass in the limbs of a large tree as the sun sets. We add a couple of images of the Ngungwe Female from the sighting of her in the large jackalberry tree. The Ntomi Male is also found in the branches of a marula tree scanning the crests for any prey to hunt.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
Ranger Andrea Sithole and the guests are all smiles as he positions the vehicle perfectly for a magical moment with one of the Ndzhenga Males out on an early morning territorial patrol.
Finally settling down after a long morning the Ndzhenga Male then settled in a clearing where he spent the day.
Vervet Monkeys are incredibly tactile animals and will often be seen grooming and cleaning each other. Here a mother grooms her young and very content little baby from the safety of a tree.
After hearing baboons alarm-calling opposite Founders Camp, we knew there was something worthwhile in the area. Upon arriving there we found the Flat Rock Male who then proceeded to stride across these boulders with camp in the background.
A dominant male leopard over the majority of the north. He originally took over the 4:4 Male's territory when he died.
The purple hues in the sky from a breeding herd as they march towards a water hole to quench their thirst shortly after sunset.
With many of the herbivores well satiated by the abundance of vegetation, the excrement is a prized treasure for the trustworthy cleanup crew of dung beetles.
A couple of young male giraffes show off their strength in a playful ‘necking’ display right next to our vehicle. This fight will only intensify as these males age and attempt to challenge for the rights to mate with females.
We found the Ximungwe Female atop a termite mound in the late morning. She entertained us with a few big yawns before laying down to rest.
Having been viewed by vehicles from an early age, this leopard is supremely relaxed around Land Rovers.
The nimble and highly alert klipspringer keeps watch from a set of boulders in the northern parts of the reserve.
Having caught a young impala, the Maxims Male had taken the carcass into a large tree where he could enjoy the spoils in his own time.
Fairly skittish male that is presumed to have come from the Kruger National Park.
This group of young elephants entertain themselves around a small waterhole, it almost appears as though the larger ones were scheming against the two small ones.
Resting in the bow of a tree branch on a particularly hot afternoon, the Ngungwe Female couldn’t be calmer and more relaxed.
Young inquisitive beautiful female, bordering on independence as of November 2021
The Ngungwe Female descending the jackalberry shortly after her bushbuck carcass, which she had hoisted in the tree, accidentally fell and was stolen by a hyena.
As the hues of the sky change with the setting sun, a Southern Ground Hornbill perches at the top of a dead leadwood before joining the rest of the hornbill family roosting in a nearby jackalberry tree.
Spending a morning with wild dogs is always exciting. Here a backlit shot was emphasised by the greenery in the background.
It is interesting to see what is unfolding with the Ntsevu Pride as many of the females are spending time alone. I am sure it is just temporary. Here one of the females rests near to a large waterhole for the day.
An impressive display from a hippo, they will use this as a sig to ward off any danger or rivals.
When the wild dogs do start moving it isn’t often that you are able to get them running towards you. More often than not you are follling them from behind and unable to loop up ahead of them.
We followed this newly independent male leopard along the road before he came across a beautiful tree atop a termite mound that looked like the perfect place to climb to take a rest. The Ntomi Male has a distinctive brown spot in his left eye that is captured in this image.
A single cub of the Ximungwe Female's second litter. Initially rather skittish but is very relaxed now. Birth mark in his left eye.
Fork-tailed Drongos are exciting birds to watch as their courageous nature often is demonstrated as they harass and attempt to drive away significantly larger birds of prey.
Always a great scene with a number of species together at a waterhole. Here the buffole settle in to the water itself to cool off and the elephants rather spray themselves with the water.