Week in Pictures: Rain and Relief

With the twelfth month of the year officially underway, we can look back on the past year’s transition from drought and devastation to a blossoming Garden of Eden. The bush is always invigorated and full of life, even when the landscape looks parched, but there is something about the buzz of summer, and the weight of leaves on the trees, the movement of a flowing river  and the fullness of dams that make this time of year the busiest in the bush. We are finding ourselves incessantly swatting at flying insects as we sit and watch a pride of lions, or ducking to avoid a spider’s web as we cruise through the bush on safari.

The luscious greenery is gentle on the eyes, but with it comes a plethora of creepy crawlies, and air dense with moisture, while the searing daytime temperatures are a force to be reckoned with. This is Africa, and it is as forbidding as it is exquisite. This is the rainy season following a drought – we could not be happier to sit among the bugs and be caught in the rain on game drive; it means the fast has ended! Enjoy the Week in Pictures: Rain and Relief

Africa on Foot, Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger Park

A female cheetah warily surveys her surroundings as she begins to eat her prey


Glimpsing Africa's most elegant cat as she stalks through the sun-drenched veld

Late night lightning storms electrify the night skies

A Breakaway lioness positions herself to drag her easily won meal into the shadows


Umkumbe Safari Lodge, Sabi Sand Wildtuin, Greater Kruger Park

An elephant carefully plucks the different scents from the air

On the receiving end of a dagha-boy death stare...

A blushing yellow-billed hornbill adds a perfect pop of colour to the bush

A pair of white-backed vultures are the first arrivals at the scene of a kill

nThambo Tree Camp, Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger Park

One of those spectacular moments in time with one of Africa's rarest cats

The newly dominant Mapoza male emanates ferocity

An as yet unidentified young male leopard casually relaxes in the spotlight

The Hercules Pride, even more powerful after a nourishing meal

Xobega Island Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana

Pygmy geese are usually photographed in flight as they take off in a flash, so this is a rare and beautiful capture

A pride of lions looks alert as they make the most of their vantage point on a termite mound

The Okavango Delta waterways are  ruled by these ferocious river warriors

Perfection in form of stripes

Ezulwini Game Lodges, Balule Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger Park

A break in the ominous cloud reveals a momentary flash of sunlight, as two tawny eagles take off from their perch

A yawning leopard tortoise

Dirt cascades down an elephant's leathery skin during a routine dust bath

A pair of Swainson's spurfowl emerge cautiously in the morning