As the rains become more regular, we slowly start to accept the fact that we might not end every drive bone dry but that has not in any way put a dampener on the anticipation of what is to be experienced out at this time of year. With just about every outing into the South African bush, summer migrant bird species are being seen for the first time in months as well as other new arrivals like the flood of impala lambs appearing throughout the property.
This is not only a great boost for the impala numbers but offers numerous opportunities to see the predators at work. Exciting viewing is an understatement with many possible hunting opportunities presenting themselves.
The Mashaba female desperately flirts with the Marthly male. Despite all her attempts he was not at all interested in mating and snarled and hissed at her to show her his displeasure. Amy Attenborough
The Mashaba female attempts to sneak up on a herd of unsuspecting impala. The female impala have just begun to drop their lambs, making them the easiest prey at the moment. Amy Attenborough
A hippo bull rests while a red-billed oxpecker shouts noisily from his back. These oxpeckers will often use the hippos as platforms from which they can drink. Amy Attenborough
A young hyena curiously explores a dry mud wallow close tho their den site. Simon Smit
The Marthly male leopard on a termite mound that he regularly visits in hope of preying on the warthogs that call this mound home. Simon Smit
Professional, friend and teacher Foster. Simon Smit
An event that I will never get tired of seeing, a herd crossing the Sand River. Simon Smit
Photographing close ups of elephants is something I thoroughly enjoy. Simon Smit
An incredibly beautiful leopard in the heart of her breathtaking territory, the Tutlwa female with Ximpalapala koppie as a back drop. Simon Smit
A slightly different angle on the gorgeous lilac breasted roller. The vibrancy of its plumage and the light in its eyes are what make the image for me. Amy Attenborough
The Tutlwa Female drinks from the Sand River. High prey density, thick cover, ideal den sites and permanent water make this the most sought after territory for both male and female leopards. Amy Attenborough
An African Jacana sprints across the algae stained water of Camp Pan. They have incredibly long toes and large feet, which enable them to run on vegetation and give them the nickname of ‘the Jesus bird’ or ‘lily trotter’. Amy Attenborough
Two of the young lionesses from the Tsalala Pride cuddle each other during an afternoon sleep. Both these lionesses will stay with their mothers as they get older and are in fact the future of this pride. Amy Attenborough
A wild dog grabs a recently caught Impala by its muzzle. Despite appearances, wild dog kills are in fact rather ‘humane’. The pack tears at the stomach of the impala and it dies from shock and blood loss and because the pack eats so quickly, the process is much faster than the suffocation technique used by the big cats.
A water monitor moves about in the early morning sun. They are certainly not fussy eaters but some of its favoured food items include birds’ eggs, frogs, young chicks, small mammals and carrion. Amy Attenborough
Wild dogs epitomise play and movement. They seem to have endless energy and time spent with them is always fun.
Hanging on but wising up, the Majingilane coalition is spending more time together as a unit. Simon Smit
Written by Simon Smit
Photographed by: Simon Smit and Amy Attenborough