2018-07-29: The Tamboti Leopard

Even spending a short time in the bush with a given animal, it is easy to get caught up in the drama of its life, and care how things turn out for it.  Regardless how deeply I realize it is all part of nature and the circle of life, I still find myself feeling sad in hearing of the passing of an animal that I had a special sighting of.

I recently read on the Londolozi blog that the Tamboti female leopard has not been spotted in over a month, and is presumed dead.  I had two sightings of her on my last trip; the first, we arrived to the riverbed moments after she stashed her cub into a new den site, missing what we thought would have been the sighting of a lifetime.  We did catch a brief glimpse of her moving a cub into a deeper part of the bushes she stashed them in, and as we headed back to camp, I was happy to even have seen the briefest glimpse of a cub so tiny.

The next morning, our last on safari, after having an amazing moment with elephants we headed off on a whim back to the clump of bushes where she stashed the cubs.  Our wonderful ranger Dave had an instinct that she might move the cubs again, and as we arrived, we found her with one of the cubs and were able to follow her on a long journey through the bush to her new den site, and then spend some time watching her interact with her two tiny cubs.  I’ve posted about this sighting before, and you can see some other images here.

Reading that she is now presumed gone, and only her female cub remains, prompted me to edit a few more of my images to share, and to relive those wonderful moments in the bush, watching nature unfold.

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This was the best image that I could get during my afternoon sighting of Tamboti and one of the cubs.  Londolozi, May 2017.
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Following Tamboti moving one of the cubs to a new den site.
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Every so often, she would set the cub down for a quick break, and then carry on, over whatever obstacles were in her path.
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My dreams of leopard shots were limited to hoping to see one in a tree one day; this was far beyond anything I had imaged I would see while out in the bush.
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After stashing the cub deep into the hollowed out log, she looks around, scanning for any threats.  We heard the call of another nearby leopard while we were watching the family.
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You can just make out the cubs in the darkness of the fallen tree.
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When she determined it was safe, she allowed the cubs out and here shares a tender moment.

 

2018-04-23: Monochrome Monday

Such an amazing animal to spend time with on safari.  The social dynamics of the wild dog packs are fascinating to watch, though if they are on the move, it is nearly impossible to keep up with them.  This pack member looks on while some other members were starting to get up and ready themselves to set off.

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African Wild Dog – Okavango Delta, Botswana.  May 2017.

2018-04-10: WPC – Smile

The photo prompt of the week is smile; either an image of a smile, or something that makes you smile.  Since baby animals are a universal crowd pleaser, here are a fewer images of youngsters that have made me smile.

I hope you enjoy!

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A trio of cheetah cubs braving a late afternoon windstorm.  Their mother was nearby, definitely ill at ease because of the weather.
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Looks at the big full bellies of these lion cubs.  They were going back and forth between the females, greeting each with affection.
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A pair of leopard cubs playing amongst the fallen branches in a ravine.  These two were all over the place; there Mom definitely had her work cut out for her.
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The tiniest lion cubs I have had the privilege of seeing.  Their Mom had brought down a giraffe calf, but these two were more interested in playing than feeding.  They were under 3 weeks old.
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An elephant calf having a go at the balance beam 🙂  He came pretty close to ending up in a heap on the ground, but recovered from it well.
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I don’t think I have ever seen anyone smiling as much as our ranger when we were at this sighting.  To say he was thrilled is a complete understatement.  A dream come true, once in a lifetime moment on safari.
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This is where mama leopard stashed her two youngsters.  The hollowed log didn’t make for the best photo opportunities, but it did make for a very safe spot for these leopard cubs to stay hidden and out of danger.

WPC: Smile

2018-04-02: Monochrome Monday

Does this bring back memories of childhood for anyone else?  Of the times when your sibling was being a complete jerk and Mom looked on and told you to sort it out for yourselves??? 🙂

Happy Monday Everyone!

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Got your tail!  A pair of leopard cubs play under the watchful gaze of their Mom.  Londolozi, May 2017.

2018-03-27: WPC Favourite Place

The topic this week and last are very similar for me.  Last week, I told you that I’d rather be on safari and this week I’m going to tell you that my favourite place is being amongst the elephants in the African bush.  I must admit, I don’t really like the concept of a favourite place per se, because it feels like it discounts so many amazing experiences over the years.  But, I have often said if I could only limit myself to traveling to one place the rest of my life (and even so far as if I had to choose only one animal to spend the rest of my days with) it would be in Africa amongst the elephants.

There is just something about being in the proximity of elephants, feeling their rumbles, listening to their calls, watching them interact and go about their days that fills me with such peace and joy.

I hope you enjoy my selection of images this week.

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Elephants playing in the Boteti River in Botswana.
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A large bull elephant at Nxai Pan in Botswana.
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A pair of bull elephants at a small waterhole on Phinda Game Reserve in South Africa.
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An elephant family drinking at a broken water pipe on Londolozi in South Africa.
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Pushing on the tree to shake down fruits in the Okavango Delta.
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Part of a larger herd that I spent time with one morning on Phinda Game Reserve.
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A desert adapted elephant seen near the Skeleton Coast in Namibia.

WPC: Favourite Place

2018-03-25: Multiple Exposure Project

I had a completely different image ready to go, but something about it just wasn’t sitting right with me.  So I started scrolling through my photo catalogue, and came across the series of images I took of a pride of lions that had treed a leopard, seen during my safari in 2015.  That sparked my creativity in a whole new direction.

I wish I would have thought of creating a composite image like this when I was originally editing the series and creating a blog post about it.  I think this image captures the essence of the sighting in a way the individual images were unable to.  If you didn’t catch the story of the lions versus a leopard the first time around, you can fid it here.  There was definitely a lot going on that morning!

I hope you enjoy this last instalment of my multiple exposure project.  Next month, on to something new.

 

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