In an eventful photographic week, we have seen some spectacular sightings with magnificent colours seeping through. The bushveld is still in immaculate condition and the abundance of life is evidence of a healthy summer. The Sand River is flowing strongly, the waterholes are still full to the brim and mud wallows a worthwhile attraction. Sunsets have been superb and the only challenge is choosing what beverage to accompany it.
This week’s sightings have seen a good few lions, Ndzhenga Males, Ntsevu Females and a Plains Camp Male and two Mhangeni Lionesses as they scaled a marula tree in an attempt to snag an ostrich carcass that was hoisted up there. Elephants on the airstrip, giraffes in the open grasslands and a flutter of birdlife. The elegant yet often overlooked impala feature strongly this week too as they find themselves in the viewfinder at sunset in the golden light a number of times.
And lastly, the Xinkhova Female makes an appearance as she hops in to a fallen marula after sunset with a beautiful backdrop and gentle backlighting.
Let me know which are your favourite images in the comments section below.
Enjoy This Week In Pictures…
This White-fronted Bee-eater sits atop a hard, resistant and particularly useful wooden stump. This Stump has been worn down and rubbed smooth over the years by many a rhino, buffalo and elephant after mud-bathing.
When sitting with two of the Ndzhenga Males and two Ntsevu Females late into the afternoon, this male was lying on a mound of sand allowing me to get a lower angle of him by placing the camera on the floor in my footwell. In response to one of the females sitting up and yawning he followed suit and did the same for me.
Starlings are dazzling to look at and I was fortunate to have this Greater Blue-eared Starling perch on top of a small shrub close to the road for just long enough to get the 600mm lens up and onto it for this shot.
One of the Ntsevu Lionesses gazes toward my vehicle with a particularly pensive look about her. Often I sit and wonder to myself, “if only we knew what was going on in their minds”, I am sure it would be pretty innocuous or purely primal.
Brushing heads with one of the Ndzhenga Males, this is greeting ritual amongst lions where they show affection and essentially touch base with each other in a sort of “I am OK, are you OK? type of fashion. Building the bonds amongst themselves.
Looking a little bed-headed this Ndzhenga Male watches as the female then settles down not too far away.
While en route back to camp after a stunning afternoon drive we came across this young elephant bull on the airstrip with a spectacular sunset behind him.
Two young impala pause while feeding on a termite mound and look our way. It is incredible that this young male’s horns have already begun to grow, these two are only a matter of two to three months old.
A lengthy male giraffe appears to be dwarfed by one of the many igneous rocky outcrops that dot a line running east-west through the Sabi Sand Nature Reserve.
While venturing into the southern grasslands, I spied this tall figure beginning with a G… It was a tranquil enjoyable scene and made for a nice panoramic shot.
After sitting with the Xinkhova Female for a while hoping she would move for us, she eventually did and found this fallen marula tree to gain a better view. With the last hues of purple and blue falling on the clouds in the distance and a gentle filtered light on the leopard it made for quite a spectacular scene.
A stunning young female with a very similar spot pattern to her mother, the Nkoveni Female. Litter still completely intact March 2022.
The long, lush grass is rapidly fading to hues of gold and yellow and in the afternoon light these impala rams stood out in the beam of light.
Just revealing itself from the edge of the road this Double-banded Sandgrouse watched us closely for a while before flying off.
Lion in marula
The stories behind a lion don’t only fall in the scars on its face, but looking a little closer, these canines could tell you a few more.
A Plains Camp Male keeps a close eye on the Mhangeni Lionesses after she descended the marula tree.
A young male briefly raises his head as the rest slowly amble toward the top of the crest for the evening.
A shot of the gear that you use to get the shot
Intensity in the eyes of a lioness on a mission.