15 Photos of Animals in the African Wild To Remind You What Beauty Is…

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Enjoy some breathtaking photos of nature at its best. South Africa.

A close-up of a hooded vulture as it comes screeching by on the descent, having spotted the female cheetah and her two cubs on an impala kill.

A close-up of a hooded vulture as it comes screeching by on the descent, having spotted the female cheetah and her two cubs on an impala kill. f5, 1/4000, ISO 640

A yellow-billed hornbill that luckily sat still long enough for us to photograph it from the Tree Camp deck.

A yellow-billed hornbill that luckily sat still long enough for us to photograph it. f8, 1/250, ISO 1600

A giraffe flicks its head and neck back up after drinking form Nyelethi Pan. Giraffe's cannot afford to keep their heads down for too long, as a rapid rise in blood pressure would soon render them unconscious. Sensors in a dense capillary network at the base of the brain detect when the blood pressure is becoming too high, and a reflex jerk kicks in that brings the head up again, often resulting in a wonderful spray of water like the one visible in this picture.

A giraffe flicks its head and neck back up after drinking. Giraffes cannot afford to keep their heads down for too long, as a rapid rise in blood pressure would soon render them unconscious. Sensors in a dense capillary network at the base of the brain detect when the blood pressure is becoming too high, and a reflex jerk kicks in that brings the head up again, often resulting in a wonderful spray of water like the one visible in this picture. f5.6, 1/1000, ISO 640

The four cheetahs that have made the south western grasslands their home occasionally venture further afield, and on this afternoon the mother and two cubs were prowling around on Nyamakunze crest. Still a nice open area, the Nyamakunze clearings and surrounds nevertheless feature a higher large predator density than the grasslands, and so it wasn't long before the three cheetahs had retreated back to the area in which they feel safer.

The four cheetahs that have made the south western grasslands their home occasionally venture further afield, and on this afternoon the mother and two cubs were prowling around on Nyamakunze crest. Still a nice open area, the Nyamakunze clearings and surrounds nevertheless feature a higher large predator density than the grasslands, and so it wasn’t long before the three cheetahs had retreated back to the area in which they feel safer. f5, 1/800, ISO 320

An elephant cow leads her calf through the mist-shrouded round-leaf teak thickets on southern Londolozi.

An elephant cow leads her calf through the mist-shrouded round-leaf teak thickets on southern Londolozi. f7.1, 1/500, IS0 640

A wonderfully cute expression from the cub of the Mashaba female, perched high above us in an Apple-leaf tree. Yes, I cut her ear off in my haste to snap a shot. A good lesson that I have forgotten recently. Zoom out a bit, make sure you fit everything into the frame!

A wonderfully cute expression from the cub of the Mashaba female, perched high above us in an Apple-leaf tree. Yes, I cut her ear off in my haste to snap a shot. A good lesson that I have forgotten recently. Zoom out a bit, make sure you fit everything into the frame! f2.8, 1/320, ISO 2000

The same sighting, just before the cub darted up the Apple-leaf tree. The cub is still too young to hunt for itself, and as such has a lot of excess energy since her mother is still providing all the food.

The same sighting, just before the cub darted up the Apple-leaf tree. The cub is still too young to hunt for itself, and as such has a lot of excess energy since her mother is still providing all the food. f2.8, 1/320, ISO 2000

The cub watches its mother disappear into a grove of tamboti trees.

The cub watches its mother disappear into a grove of tamboti trees. f2.8, 1/200, ISO 1600

A tawny eagle mobs a juvenile martial eagle on Sasekile Ingwe crest. There is a pair of tawnys that nest in the area, and as they are primarily winter breeders, I can only assume that they had a chick on the nest and felt it prudent to try and encourage the much larger martial to leave.

A tawny eagle mobs a juvenile martial eagle on Sasekile Ingwe crest. There is a pair of tawnys that nest in the area, and as they are primarily winter breeders, I can only assume that they had a chick on the nest and felt it prudent to try and encourage the much larger martial to leave. f4.5, 1/640, ISO 320

Two wild dogs from the pack of 9 in high spirits after their successful take-down of a young kudu.

Two wild dogs from the pack of 9 in high spirits after their successful take-down of a young kudu. f5, 1/800, ISO 1000

The last thing you want to see coming towards you if you are an impala. In fact, if you are an impala and you DO see this coming towards you, there's a good chance it WILL be the last thing you see. A minute after this photo was taken the pack tore into a herd of impala and zebra and it was like a bomb going off, with herbivores scattering for their lives. The dogs failed to bring anything down, but seeing as how they had just eaten a kudu, I doubt they were too disappointed.

The last thing you want to see coming towards you if you are an impala. In fact, if you are an impala and you DO see this coming towards you, there’s a good chance it WILL be the last thing you see. A minute after this photo was taken the pack tore into a herd of impala and zebra and it was like a bomb going off, with herbivores scattering for their lives. The dogs failed to bring anything down, but seeing as how they had just eaten a kudu, I doubt they were too disappointed. f3.5, 1/800, ISO 640

A hippo emerges threateningly from Circuit Pan. With water resources being limited at this time of year the hippos can get cranky, and Circuit Pan is by no means a big enough body of water to allow a hippo to feel at ease. This one felt it best to stand up  shortly after this to display it's size.

A hippo emerges threateningly from Circuit Pan. With water resources being limited at this time of year the hippos can get cranky, and Circuit Pan is by no means a big enough body of water to allow a hippo to feel at ease. This one felt it best to stand up shortly after this to display it’s size. f4.5, 1/640, ISO 320

A Goliath heron stands patiently in the shallows near the causeway. Goliaths eat almost exclusively fish, and often stand motionless for long periods of time waiting for one to swim close by, which they then spear with their bills.

A Goliath heron stands patiently in the shallows near the causeway. Goliaths eat almost exclusively fish, and often stand motionless for long periods of time waiting for one to swim close by, which they then spear with their bills. f10, 1/500, ISO 400

Mother and youngster, very comfortable with being out in the open together.

The Tamboti female with one of her cubs, very comfortable with being out in the open together. The second cub can be seen just behind the mother’s back legs. f4.5, 1/1000, ISO 1000

Full of bounce, the Tamboti cubs play while their mother leads them back towards the Maxabene riverbed. The three had been robbed by the Camp Pan male on this morning, but they all had full bellies so had clearly been at the kill for sometime before the male came on the scene.

Full of bounce, the Tamboti cubs play while their mother leads them back towards the Maxabene riverbed. The three had been robbed by the Camp Pan male on this morning, but they all had full bellies so had clearly been at the kill for sometime before the male came on the scene. f4.5, 1/800, ISO 1000

Photographed by James Tyrrell

Rich Laburn
Rich Laburn is filmmaker, photographer and writer who is based at Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa. Spending his time capturing scenes of the wild and communicating the beauty of the African bushveld, he runs the Londolozi Blog as a way to entertain and engage people wishing to visit these wild lands.
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