As we step into another exciting week behind the camera, there’s an abundance of thrilling moments to share with all of you. To be honest, it’s a bit overwhelming to know where to begin.
First off, we’ve been graced with the presence of wild dogs and their playful pups. Watching these little ones engage in endless playtime is an absolute joy, especially when there are 19 of them, and finding a playmate is never a challenge.
In addition to the wild dogs, we’ve had the privilege of witnessing the Nhlanguleni Cubs for the very first time, observing them and their mother at a frequently used den. We hope this fantastic viewing opportunity continues for a long time to come.
A drinks break was momentarily interrupted by a visit from the elephants, giving us a stunning reflection in the water. We also had male lions quenching their thirst in the golden light.
Other highlights from the week include the Tsalala Female gracefully moving about in the early morning, breathtaking shots of stars and fire captured in long exposure photos, adorable baby zebras, mesmerizing sunsets, and thrilling sightings of leopards and cheetahs. Plus, we even stumbled upon a Lapwing nest.
All in all, it was an extraordinary week filled with remarkable moments in the wild.
Let me know your favourite images in the comments section below.
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
After watching them milling about on the road for a while, the adults left to go hunting, leaving the pups behind here. Now having 19 pups in the pack, it was entertaining to watch. Struggling to decide where to look as every single pup was doing something different. Eventually this one sat up with sand stuck to its nose.
“Music to our ears” we heard from the neighbours that the pack of wild dogs was moving around with their pups and just by chance coming our way.
A super fluffy and adorable young zebra foal
My very first view of the Nhlanguleni Female’s cubs. How exciting that we finally know they are not a myth.
Initially skittish she spent a lot of time in the Sand River, now relaxed she makes up the majority of leopard viewing west of camp.
Driving past the airstrip at the beginning of the morning game drive is often a great place to stop and listen to the bushveld around you waking up. At the same time, the sun rising over the eastern horizon with a low blanket of mist along the Sand River in the distance.
While searching for the Nhlanguleni Female near camp, we were surprised by the appearance of the Tsalala Female in the clearings nearby.
There is always something great about the combination of fire, stars and a long exposure photograph.
While driving through the northern parts of Marthly we were treated to a stunning scene of the gorgeous Xinzele Female perfectly framed between a large jackalberry tree and a termite mound. It appeared as though she was using this as vantage point to scan for any prey in the area.
A small female often found in NW Marthly. Similar spot pattern to her mother the Ingrid Dam Female.
From the same scene just zoomed in to highlight the beauty of this female.
It is fascinating how lighting can drastically change a photograph, this image was taken maybe 15 minutes after the previous one above. She moved to another mound, a few metres away and now with the sun to the right of the frame and the clouds in the distance to the south of her, it looks like a totally different scene.
While stopping for a sundowner drink at a stunning waterhole in the southwestern grasslands, a herd of elephants also had a similar train of thought and came to join us.
Stopping for a quick drink before moving on.
The adorable cub rubs up against its mother, the Nhlanguleni Female, seeming as though to say”Hey mum, did you see what I just did?”
Waiting for her mother’s response to say, “Well done little one, I am so proud!”
Hearing over the radio that a female cheetah was found in the clearings close to camp, I couldn’t resist popping across to snap a few shots.
After the rigmarole of the Three Rivers Female and the Nkoveni Female, the Maxim’s Male then moved in and claimed the remains of the carcass, allowing me to finally snap some shots of him, relaxed in a tree with a clear view of him.
Fairly skittish male that is presumed to have come from the Kruger National Park.
In driving past the Nhlanguleni Female’s den one afternoon we caught a brief glimpse of this little cute cub peering out from a gap.
Sunsets at this time of year are breathtaking. The extra dust and smoke held in the atmosphere from months of very little rain and much drier landscape create these deep orange and red western horizons.
While following the Plaque Rock Female passed a waterhole, I was shocked at how aggressive and cheeky this Blacksmith Lapwing was being towards the vehicle. Eventually we spotted its well camouflaged nest close to where we were driving and moved further away allowing it to return to the nest that it was being so protective over.
After heading towards a few vultures perched in a dead leadwood, we soon discovered the last little remains of a young giraffe carcass. Probably the victim of a few hungry lions. After driving around we found two very full Ndzhenga Males who promptly got up and went for a drink just the perfect light was illuminating the scene.
The last shot of the Nkoveni Cub that I managed to take before it was likely to have been taken out by the Three Rivers Female that night.
A gorgeous female who is found to the east of camp. Easily recognised by her 2:2 spot pattern she is often to be found in Marula trees.
With the spectacular orange hues on the western horizon after sunset, a Verreaux’s Eagle Owl flew into a dead tree nearby allowing me to snap a silhouette shot of it.
Late in the afternoon, we slowly meandered our way through a meandering herd of buffalo which seemed to take forever. There were probably more than 1 000 buffalo in this herd one of the largest gatherings of these enormous bovines that I have seen in a long time.
Expanding their reign, one of the Ndzhenga Males becomes a little better acquainted with a Talamati Lioness as the two spend four days together mating.
Speaking of mist, a different perspective of the Sand River on a fairly chilly morning as the dawn breaks.