Week in Pictures: Solid Gold

Solid gold could describe the rich ambers and apricots of the sunsets and the sunrises of the bush, or the immeasurable value of the safari offerings in the secret corners of the Kruger Park and northern Botswana. Solid gold is an expression used to describe the best of the best, the most treasured, the most precious. When we arrive at Friday, we get to reflect on the past week’s wildlife activity, sift through all the sighting reports, relive the early morning and afternoon game drives and bush walks, and remember just how spoilt we have been. From the mound of memorable moments, we have the tough task of selecting what we deem to be solid gold. This week, the ‘gold’ theme has been carried through the almost-winter sunsets, which have glinted so promisingly through the trees at the end of each day.

Some of our most captivating occasions took place at this golden hour, where the landscape was set aglow; while other favourite moments were chosen because they boasted gold status of another kind. A tender moment between two young elephants; a perfect image of the moon and all its craters; a fierce stare from a buffalo in the shadows; or a perfectly positioned leopardess; we have gathered our top shots of the week and aptly called them Solid Gold. Enjoy this Friday’s edition of the Week in Pictures.

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

A herd of buffalo stand behind a glowing wall of embers as the sun sinks towards the horizon

A golden performance by a pair of tussling elephants

Emerging from the shadows and met by the liquid glow of the sun

A Swainson's spurfowl positions itself to start belting out the morning chorus

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

The last light of the day burning into a furnace on the horizon as a herd of buffalo watch it glow

Intricate details at a sunset drinks location shared with elephants

Single file impala procession

Cracks and craters on the surface of the moon, almost 400 000km away

Umkumbe Safari Lodge, Sabi Sand Wildtuin, Greater Kruger Park

A pair of young elephants kiss and make up

Tatowa finds a comfortable position in the bough of a marula tree and watches the activity below

Unmistakable amber-eyed glare from a Southern white-faced owl

One of the youngest herd members with the biggest attitude

Ezulwini Game Lodges, Balule Nature Reserve, Greater Kruger Park

Grace and glamour personified in one of nature's most oddly proportioned mammals

A red-billed hornbill takes off in a cloud of dust

A gentle face of defined wrinkles, up close and personal

Mischievous yet irresistible - the curious face of a young vervet monkey

Tuskers Bush Camp, Kwatale Conservancy, Northern Botswana

An evening gathering at the edge of a waterhole to share a drink before nightfall

Africa's leading canids take a break before a morning hunt

The brutal force of the bush veld: buffalo occupy every corner during the summer rainy season

Treading carefully through the early morning veld after a night surviving in the darkness