Week in Pictures: Predators and Plains Game

This week was the week that brought the rain to the Kruger. At such a late stage in the summer, the earth was scorched from the incessant heat and lack of replenishment from the rain. Then, the growl of distant thunder and flicker of lightning behind giant grey clouds announced the arrival of relief, all the way from the Sabi Sand, through the Klaserie, and into the Balule Nature Reserve and beyond. Dreams came true this week, as the heavens opened and watered the land at long last!

On the days before game drives got rained out, our guides and photographers took to the bush with their cameras and captured some of the highlights in wildlife action, which we now present as the Week in Pictures: Predators and Plains Game.

Leopards dominated this week at Umkumbe Safari Lodge, Africa on Foot, and nThambo Tree Camp, while Ezulwini River Lodge and Billy’s Lodge saw the return of the lions. Chavaluthu, Ezulwini’s blue-eyed leopard made numerous appearances, while Umkumbe’s famous leopardesses, White Dam and Kigelia, paraded through their Sabi Sand territories. Cleo and Zero dazzled at Africa on Foot and nThambo Tree Camp where their territories lie.

In addtition to some astounding cat sightings, game drives were sprinkled with the mesmerising presence of giraffe, zebra, and amber-eyed owls. An elephant carcass naturally became the subject of a scavenger’s feast, where vultures and hyenas celebrated the abundance of food in Balule. The golden sunlight that shone ahead of the merciful clouds illuminated the playful forms of African wild dogs in the Klaserie, concluding a week’s worth of spell-binding safari moments.

Umkumbe Safari Lodge, Sabi Sand Wildtuin

White Dam pants in the heat after feasting on an impala kill

The magnificent Kigelia - young female leopard posing gracefully in the dusk light

An elephant decorates himself with a cloud of dust in the Sabi Sand

Southern Pride lioness trots determinedly through the night

nThambo Tree Camp, Klaserie Private Nature Reserve

Quality time... Two wild dogs take some time out at the edge of a waterhole to bond

A brand new zebra foal has an excited spring in its step

Cleo plans her next move as she cautiously moves through the bush

Superb sight of African wild dogs playfully interacting in the last light of the day

Ezulwini Game Lodges, Balule Nature Reserve

The scavenger gathering at the site of an elephant carcass in the Balule

A zebra foal bathed in the morning sunlight in Balule

A pride leader greets one of the young lionesses with affection

A spotted eagle owl perches in the spotlight outside Ezulwini River LodgeA spotted eagle owl perches in the spotlight outside Ezulwini River Lodge

Africa on Foot, Klaserie Private Nature Reserve

Catching a giraffe drinking in the golden light after patiently waiting for her to make her move

Wild dogs dominate the waterhole over a small gathering of giraffes. Despite the size difference, wild dogs can be intimidating in packs!

Cleo the leopardess steps carefully through the veld with her eyes on her admirers

A Ross Pride lioness hangs back from a warthog kill as things begin to get messy between two males

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