Week in Pictures: All sorts of everything wild!

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An African wild dog strolls in front of the Umkumbe Safari Lodge game viewer. Image by Em Gatland.

This week we’ve got a roundup of incredible images from Botswana and from Kruger where our exceptional camps nestle in their wild homes. Surrounded by the African bush, everyday is brimming with opportunity to witness something phenomenal. It is the new season of rain, and the heat is rising for summer, and with the new flourish of greenery come the migratory birds. Animal activity is changing, and there is a sense of celebration in the air. Take a look at what superb wildlife sightings have come out of our camps this week!

In Botswana’s Okavango Delta, Mapula Lodge is located on its very own hippo-filled lagoon. After flying in with Major Blue Air‘s 6 seater plane, we enjoyed a series of game drives and a cruise on the mokoro, which resulted in some fantastic game viewing. The first morning began with a lone male lion on the airstrip – a sighting we enjoyed for a luxuriously long time as he rose and eloped into the bush. Game drives were full of elephants, giraffes, and general game, like the zebras (pointed out by Mapula’s guide, Albert) and the buffaloes whose united interest in us made for a good capture.

A sun-bathing lion lies confidently between Mapula's 2 game viewers on a morning game drive. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

A sun-bathing lion lies confidently between Mapula’s 2 game viewers on a morning game drive. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

The Okavango Delta is brimming with game as the rains come down on Botswana. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

The Okavango Delta is brimming with game as the rains come down on Botswana. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

Chobe National Park's precious Linyanti swamp is home to countless buffaloes, often the lions' first choice of prey.

The Delta is home to countless buffaloes, often the lions’ first choice of prey.

Great egret and its reflection in the Okavango Delta. Captured on a mokoro excursion with Mapula Lodge. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

Great egret and its reflection in the Okavango Delta. Captured on a mokoro excursion with Mapula Lodge. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

Haina Kalahari Lodge lies on the fence line of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in its own wildlife concession. The fence does not mean anything to the lions however, as we witnessed a huge male effortlessly squeeze himself through the wires! A fantastic kill site was the highlight of our game drive, and we got to watch a pride of 3 lionesses, 6 cubs and one male feed off a kudu bull. That night we set off after dinner for a night drive in search of some nocturnal activity. We were very lucky to see a genet, a pair of spotted eagle owls, and the precious bat-eared fox.

A lioness growls at one of the cubs as she protects her share of the kudu. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

A lioness growls at one of the cubs as she protects her share of the kudu. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

A feast for the whole family. Lion cub feeding on the ribcage of a kudu bull. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

A feast for the whole family. Lion cub feeding on the ribcage of a kudu bull. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

Two bloody lion cubs (out of a total of 6 at this sighting) at Haina Kalahari Lodge. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

Two bloody lion cubs (out of a total of 6 at this sighting) at Haina Kalahari Lodge. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

The elusive desert-dweller, the bat-eared fox, spotted on night drive with Haina Kalahari Lodge. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

The elusive desert-dweller, the bat-eared fox, spotted on night drive with Haina Kalahari Lodge. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

Headed for Camp Linyanti, we drove through the marvellous Chobe National Park, famously known as the home of elephants. Before we had entered the park we had had elephants crossing the road in front of us, alongside giraffe and zebra. A truly wild country, and we were entering its oldest and most diverse park. After arriving at our campsite, neighbouring the permanent 5-bedroomed Camp Savuti, we pitched tents and said hello to the elephants, which were ambling passed our braai place and headed towards the Linyanti swamp in front of us. We set out on game drive and saw some incredible things! An African rock python was seen strangulating its meal and thereafter, eating it; plus, 2 male lions were panting on the green banks of the swamp with their buffalo kill, while a couple of elephants were angrily making their way over to the lions to chase them away. What a game drive that was!

One incredible sighting at Camp Linyanti - an African rock python devours the last mouthful of his meal. It is still a debate as to whether it made a meal of a squirrel or a mongoose. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

One incredible sighting at Camp Linyanti – an African rock python devours the last mouthful of his meal. It is still a debate as to whether it made a meal of a squirrel or a mongoose. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

A pair of elephants hurtle across the Linyanti swamp, targeting 2 male lions relaxing with their buffalo kill on the bank. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

A pair of elephants hurtle across the Linyanti swamp, targeting 2 male lions relaxing with their buffalo kill on the bank. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

The lion looks warily at the oncoming elephants just before he decides he better get out the way and vacates his spot in the sun. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

The lion looks warily at the oncoming elephants just before he decides he better get out the way and vacates his spot in the sun. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

A hooded vulture grabs its opportunity while the lion is having a drink nearby and lands on the buffalo carcass with the intention to feed. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

A hooded vulture grabs its opportunity while the lion is having a drink nearby and lands on the buffalo carcass with the intention to feed. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

Afrika Ecco Mobile Safaris, conducting water-based and on-foot tours in the Okavango Delta, takes adventurous guests into the wildest regions of this wetland. You are always likely to see things other guests may not, as you delve deeper into the details and discover a new world of wilderness. Here are some of the sights stumbled upon recently with these passionate, Setswana guides.

A western green snake gliding through the Okavango waters. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

A western green snake gliding through the Okavango waters. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

The endangered wattled cranes, seen here looking elegant in the Delta with Afrika Ecco Safaris.

The endangered wattled cranes, seen here looking elegant in the Delta with Afrika Ecco Safaris.

A pair of male red-billed spur fowls have it out on the road in the Okavango Delta.

A pair of male red-billed spur fowls have it out on the road in the Okavango Delta.

A marabou stork surveys the area in the Okavango Delta. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

A marabou stork surveys the area in the Okavango Delta. Image by Kevin MacLaughlin.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Greater Kruger Park has been a hive of activity lately. The Klaserie’s Ross Pride lionesses have made numerous kills, all in view of guests at nThambo Tree Camp and Africa on Foot. The camps are full and guides are busy showing their visitors just what Africa is all about. Elephants are everywhere with lots of young babies to ‘ooh’ and ‘ash’ over, while guests have also been treated to a young rhino calf, and some exceptional bird life.

Always a wonderful sight. A young rhino sticks close to its mother and watches Africa on Foot's game viewer as Em Gatland captured a beautiful shot.

Always a wonderful sight. A young rhino sticks close to its mother and watches Africa on Foot’s game viewer as Em Gatland captured a beautiful shot.

Happy guests in a full vehicle at Africa on Foot when the 2 Ross Pride females were making regular appearances this week. Image by Em Gatland.

Happy guests in a full vehicle at Africa on Foot when the 2 Ross Pride females were making regular appearances this week. Image by Em Gatland.

Cat fight. Ross Pride females get aggressive with one another over a meal. Image by Em Gatland.

Cat fight. Ross Pride females get aggressive with one another over a meal. Image by Em Gatland.

An African scops owl makes a meal of a spider at Africa on Foot. Image by Em Gatland.

An African scops owl makes a meal of a spider at Africa on Foot. Image by Em Gatland.

A young elephant browsing the trees in the Klaserie near nThambo Tree Camp. Image by Em Gatland.

A young elephant browsing the trees in the Klaserie near nThambo Tree Camp. Image by Em Gatland.

The lionesses are pro huntresses, and with tiny cubs to feed, they must remain well-fed. Image by Em Gatland.

The lionesses are pro huntresses, and with tiny cubs to feed, they must remain well-fed. Image by Em Gatland.

The Ross Pride's breakaway lionesses unite for a shoulder rub on game drive with nThambo Tree Camp. Image by Em Gatland.

The Ross Pride’s breakaway lionesses unite for a shoulder rub on game drive with nThambo Tree Camp. Image by Em Gatland.

A white-backed vulture taking off from its perch and captured perfectly in the dark by Em Gatland.

A white-backed vulture taking off from its perch and captured perfectly in the dark by Em Gatland.

nDzuti Safari Camp, placed at the beautiful ox-bow of the Klaserie River, is surrounded by ridges and valleys, which makes the landscape indescribably beautiful. Sundowners are a highlight at this camp, as Bruce and Judy know just the right spots to boast the phenomenal views as the sky turns pink and orange. While photographer Em Gatland was visiting, she captured wonderful images of nightlife, birdlife, and some of nDzuti’s common residents.

Nocturnal predator, the hyena, emerging for a hunt after dark. Image by Em Gatland.

Nocturnal predator, the hyena, emerging for a hunt after dark. Image by Em Gatland.

Giraffes at dusk. A beautiful picture of Africa for nDzuti's guests. Image by Em Gatland.

Giraffes at dusk. A beautiful picture of Africa for nDzuti’s guests. Image by Em Gatland.

The migratory birds are flocking in. Here, a European bee-eater perches on a branch in the Klaserie after a long journey from its homeland. Image by Em Gatland.

The migratory birds are flocking in. Here, a European bee-eater perches on a branch in the Klaserie after a long journey from its homeland. Image by Em Gatland.

A profile of an elephant observed near nDzuti Safari Camp in the Klaserie. Image by Em Gatland.

A profile of an elephant observed near nDzuti Safari Camp in the Klaserie. Image by Em Gatland.

In the Sabi Sand Wildtuin – little introduction needed – Umkumbe Safari Lodge elevates itself overlooking the Sand River, and there is little reason to move from your comfortable poolside lounger, as so many species gather right in front of the lodge to drink and graze. As superb as Umkumbe’s placement is, it is not its only appeal. Game drives are chock-full of predator sightings, just as the Sabi Sand is known for. Take a look at the recent sightings Em Gatland bore witness to…

A rhino rises from its slumber in front of the Umkumbe game viewer giving guests a wonderful view of this special herbivore. Image by Em Gatland.

A rhino rises from its slumber in front of the Umkumbe game viewer giving guests a wonderful view of this special herbivore. Image by Em Gatland.

Wild dogs have been spotted in the Sabi Sand and have behaved in a relaxed manner offering Umkumbe's guests a very lucky sighting. Image by Em Gatland.

Wild dogs have been spotted in the Sabi Sand and have behaved in a relaxed manner offering Umkumbe’s guests a very lucky sighting. Image by Em Gatland.

A baby elephant investigates with its newly discovered trunk, picking up our scent at Umkumbe Safari Lodge. Image by Em Gatland.

A baby elephant investigates with its newly discovered trunk, picking up our scent at Umkumbe Safari Lodge. Image by Em Gatland.

A beautiful chameleon spotted on a night drive at Umkumbe in the Sabi Sand. Image by Em Gatland.

A beautiful chameleon spotted on a night drive at Umkumbe in the Sabi Sand. Image by Em Gatland.

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