Summer Skies with Drama in the South African Bush


The first rains are now a distant memory in southern Africa as we are in the height of summer, but the rejuvenation is unmistakable. Green as far as the eye can see, rich nutrients freely available, a far cry from the dry cold winter months. Clouds build and disperse occasionally offering life that gives water to the ever thirsty bush.

It is these pockets of condensation that excite me, the rare opportunity for the sun to sneak through a small gap to illuminate a scene with the backdrop of a Lowveld storm. Incredible texture and shape that develop and change due to the constant sculpting winds, winds that have the potential to open up a gap for this special light to burst through and add definition to an otherwise flat scene, my favourite natural lighting situation.

Here are a few occasions where the summer skies have provided great natural lighting. I look forward to what the rest of summer holds and to hopefully capture more of these breathtaking windows.


Two of the Tsalala lionesses quench their thirst after the sun broke out to dramatically increase the temperature.


Baby wildebeest abound as the day breaks under a dark blue blanket of cloud.


A storm that drenched the bush within minutes. Beauty and power.


A massive herd of buffalo warm up after a cold and wet start to the day.


A tree skeleton.


An isolated acacia adds character to the sea of grass.

What do these scenes stir in you?

Written and photographed by Simon Smit


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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