Welcome back to another week in pictures at Tanda Tula Safari Camp! Lately, the Timbavati,and the Greater Krugerarea as a whole, has been experiencing some rather chilly weather. Cold front after cold front seem to be descending on South Africa. These fronts generally hit the coast all the way in Cape Town before moving inland towards Johannesburg and then finally east towards the Kruger. Luckily, by the time they get to us, they have lost a lot of their strength. Due to the altitude we find ourselves at, our experience of these cold fronts is nothing like the bitterly cold nights that Johannesburg gets. None the less, it is definitely cold enough to make Chad and myself moan.
With this interesting weather comes overcast conditions, which is always strange at this time of year as the eastern portion of South Africa is generally known for noticeably clear-sky winters. This, of course, means that the light is somewhat tricky for us wildlife photographers as we struggle to find the detail in our images that gorgeous sunshine so often presents. However, I can’t complain too much as the wildlife has not skipped a beat!
The only thing I really struggled to capture this week were lions, but that doesn’t mean everything else was hiding away. Sadly though, it does seem that our resident River Pride have gone through a bit of turmoil, as we can only find tracks for one of the six cubs at the moment. It has happened in the past that the females leave 2 or 3 cubs here and there while keeping the others with them, but this time it feels different. Only time will tell if all the cubs are in fact alive and well. We will be sure to keep you all updated!
The winter months always bring loads of elephants to our little piece of heaven and this week was no different. There are big herds everywhere and when you can’t see them, you can definitely hear them… or smell them. It’s such a pity that we can’t share this magical time with you all. For those of you that have been to Tanda Tula, you will know that our camp watering hole is teeming with the giant pachyderms at this time of year. On most days, herd-after-herd keep coming through for a drink.
The dogs have also been around as of late and we have managed to see them a couple of times. We believe that they are denning somewhere towards the east and most probably within the Kruger National Park – the boundary is not far from Tanda Tula. The reason we believe this, is because we seem to encounter the mutts towards the east more than anywhere else at the moment. I managed to get some shots of them and one of their hyena familiars late one afternoon very close to camp. Sadly, it was only after dark and only once we were home, did we hear them making a kill, followed by the haunting sounds of hyena trying their hardest to steal said meal.
Towards the end of the week, we were also very excited to spot the young son of the famous leopardess, Ntombi. Some of you may know him by now, we call him Hlangana. It was actually eagle-eyed Britt who spotted his kill hanging in a tree with him lying under that tree. You’ll have to watch our episode of Sofa Safari coming out on Sunday in order to see more of this awesome sighting and this stunning cat.
Come rain or shine, hot or cold, no matter what, we will always get out there to document the weeks sightings for you! We continue to look forward to the moment we can host you all in person again. Stay safe folks.
Until next time, happy snapping,