Although I searched and then, searched some more, I just could not find Thombela and her cub this week! I am still dying to meet this new addition, but my time will come. Those pesky lions from the River Pride also managed to evade me all week. However, I am not going to let the lack of lions and leopards get me down, how could I? Especially when some cheetah decided to show up! We all know that a cheetah sighting is worth several sightings of their bigger cousins!
Welcome to another week in pictures at Tanda Tula Safari Camp everyone! I thoroughly enjoyed being out there this week as the weather changed from pretty hot to rainy and beautifully cool as the days went by. This offered up some fairly different lighting situations to take advantage of. Now, I know many of the wildlife photographers that read these blogs dream of perfect light every single day, but variety is the spice of life and it really does pay to take advantage of different conditions to produce images that are not classically exposed.
The highlight of the week was, you guessed it, the cheetah! Sadly, I was only able to get to the sighting around mid-morning and due to my Scottish and English heritage, I have the pink skin to show for it. Still, it was awesome to catch up with these two beautiful cats as they lazed about in the shade. One of them did get up and walk into the sun for about eight seconds before figuring out that it really wasn’t a good idea and promptly turned around and lay back down. Considering that there are only several thousand of these stunning animals left in the wild today, it is always special to see them.
This being the start of summer and therefore the time of ‘plenty’ means we are starting to welcome numerous babies into the world. None are more famous than the impala lambs who suddenly, out of nowhere, seem to just appear! They are ridiculous (for lack of a better word), little creatures that have the power of making even the most hardcore guide smile. It’s incredible to spend time with them as they run around on legs that are far too long for them, while moaning at mom all the time in search of their next feed.
One of the big benefits of not chasing lion and leopard sightings is that you get to take things a little slower, you get to stop and enjoy the view, smell the savanna and find photographic opportunities that you would usually whizz past on your way to one of the big cats. This week I spent a lot of time focusing on capturing particular images. The little squirrel in his hole, took a while to show himself while I sat patiently with my camera, but eventually his little face reappeared and I got the shot.
I spent a long while trying to capture the below sunset image making use of differing exposures to get the colour and lighting that I wanted.
While waiting patiently at Thumbela leopardess’s presumed den sight, a Water Thick-Knee bird popped out to say hello.
I waited for what felt like an age before this baboon walked expertly across a branch on a mighty Sycamore fig tree. Eventually, as the light of blue hour was fading, I got a shot that I absolutely love, even if I was beginning to go a bit crossed eyed!
I got to spend some time with a tiny Blue Waxbill bird as he went about his business. This bird is extremely small, and they tend to move around a lot, so I was super chuffed to have this special moment.
As for all the other characters I encountered during the week, the ones that stood out the most were a couple of huge elephant bulls! Sadly, the light was fading and the rain was starting to come down, but that didn’t deter me from spending a long while with them. Elephant bulls of this magnitude are incredibly humbling beings to be around. To see something so large moving so gracefully and feeding so peacefully is moving, to say the least. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get a meaningful image of the larger bull but the other guy with the sunset behind him as the rain just starting to come down was enough for me.
To finish off this week’s post I wanted to include a few more images for you all to get a feel for the week that we just had, I hope you enjoy them! Once again thanks so much for following us at Tanda Tula and for all the lovely comments and support!
Until next time, Happy snapping,