This week has been nothing short of photographic splendour, where we couldn’t put our cameras down. Many of the photos come from a handful of different scenes where depending on whichever way we looked we would have something new to snap away at.
From a few standout bird shots to the transformation of the bushveld to a blanket of greenery that invigorates each and every photo with a touch of vibrance, to the flowering blooms of the knobbly combretum and the mopane pomegranate trees adding an additional splash of colour. If it wasn’t a bright and colourful enough week, sunsets and sunrises do their bit to bring it all together.
Elephants drinking in the river, lions around every corner, and leopards living up to their name with one standout sighting for me. Hearing the update come over the radio, I couldn’t believe it and had to get across there to see it for myself. A female leopard had been found for the first time in months and not where she had been known to be spending time, but rather in her old stomping grounds right next to camp. Firstly, do you know who this is? Secondly, why do you think she has returned here?
And lastly, the wild dogs and their pups spend a morning around the Londolozi Airstrip.
Let me know your favourites in the comments section below.
Enjoy This Week In Pictures…
Now this is a leopard that many of us hold close to our hearts, and some were questioning if we would ever see her again. Now ‘territorial’ in the deep-deep south and spending the majority of her time south of our southern border, we were flabbergasted when Kate stumbled across her very close-to-camp. Any idea who this might be?
While we are on the interesting leopard dynamics train, these two fortunate hyenas cashed in on a free meal that they stole from the Nkoveni Female. Now shifting further south the Nkoveni Female had caught this impala near to the Vlei, the furthest I had heard of her going from her initial territory.
Still lurking very close by the Nkoveni Female hopes to try and steal the carcass back from the hyenas. Leading her to walk right alongside this waterhole and giving me an amazing chance to capture her reflection in the water.
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.
Along with the scavenging hyenas, this Tawny Eagle was waiting in a tree nearby hoping for some small scraps.
Hearing a lion calling throughout the day across the river from the Londolozi Camps, we ventured into the north fairly certain that it was the Tsalala Female. We came across her resting in the open like this as the sun was dipping lower in the sky bathing what it could in a gorgeous golden light while simultaneously casting long shadows across the landscape.
While gazing across the open landscape, I noticed that the sun was almost perfectly setting between these two marula trees on the horizon. Sunsets at this time of year can be simply spectacular.
After hearing lions calling throughout the early hours of the morning, we set off at the crack of dawn to see what was going down. As the sun was rising in the background we found the two Plains Camp Males. Something had drawn them into the area directly across the river from camp but we were not sure what or who.
Now energy levels restored after a morning of resting, the Plains Camp Males set off on another serious patrol over the crests.
The larger male trailed behind. What is interesting about this particular photo is that this male looks fairly short and small. However, I can assure you that this is not the case at all. He is an enormous male, with a significant mane and I think that because he is so big and thickset with a large mane it makes him look short and stout, especially when there is nothing to compare him against.
Andrea and his guests enjoy a front-row seat to this male walking straight towards them. I somehow feel that my view from here might have been slightly better.
The Sand River always draws in an abundance of life on the warm summer afternoons, recently, when the Nkuwa Female and her cubs had been found feeding on a carcass close to Finfoot Crossing, we joined the sighting and came across this young male cub resting on the banks of the river. After some time he and his mother then returned to the carcass to feed.
One of two sisters born to the Nhlanguleni Female, both of whom made it to independence, the first intact litter to do so in 7 years.
With the Nkuwa Female resting on the riverbank opposite us, we cast our eyes down the river to a pair of Saddle-billed Storks elegantly wandering towards us.
Moments after the Storks walked out of frame, this small herd of elephants came down to the river to cool off. Spraying themselves first and then settling in for a drink.
After the first bout of rain the landscape rapidly transformed and like many other flowering plants these mopane pomegranate (Rhigozum zambesiacum) flowers burst through in their striking yellow, canvasing the scene with a yellow blanket.
Along the banks of the river, the knobbly combretums (Combretum mossambicense) are also showing off their fascinating flowers.
While crossing the Sand River at the Causeway there was a pair of Black-winged Stilts wading through the shallows probing their beak into the water in search of food. Th still water and late afternoon light paired with a dark backdrop set the perfect scene to highlight these stunning birds in action. As this one lifted its beak from the water, a single droplet was tossed forward.
We spent a significant amount of time with this leopard that shocked us all with her reappearance near camp. She was looking in great condition for a leopard of her age. Her face a little tattered, and she appeared relatively hungry but all-in-all looking amazing.
On a cool cloudy morning, the Ntsevu Breakaways were fixated on a group of three large buffalo bulls. They have grown into buffalo killing machines, but we are yet to see them bring down a large adult male buffalo. The ultimate challenge for lions.
These four brothers are growing into incredible lions and armed with powerful genes, there is a great chance that these lions will dominate and leave a legacy when they stake their claim to a territory.
I don’t know if it’s just me but I have seen so many Tawny Eagles over the last little while and a number of them presenting pretty decent photographic opportunities. Perched in a dead knobthorn tree, this individual took flight with a few powerful beats of its wings.
Causing a ruckus around Londolozi with the excitement that they bring, the wild dogs then spent a morning on the Londolozi Airstrip and we snapped this shot with an adult in front of the windsock. Not a half-bad marketing shot that?
All ears. They all then settled down on the road in the shade nearby.
The large Ndzhenga Male settles in the shade of a guarrie bush with a female nearby.