Termite mounds are scattered throughout Rietvlei Nature Reserve, providing the ideal perch for bird photography. However, termite mounds do not only exist as the perfect perch for ground dwelling Crowned Lapwings. These mounds are created by termites, small insects that not only play a critical role in the ecology, but also provide sustenance to a wide variety of mammal, bird and other species.
Birds make use of the opportunity to harvest termites and provide photographers with great photographic opportunities.
Nikon D3 | Nikon 600mm f/4G
Back-light provides ideal conditions to capture the feasting Lapwing, and produce images in perfect light conditions. Swaying grass in the late afternoon breeze, adorned with magical African twilight, complemented the subject with the perfect fiery background.
Nikon D3 | Nikon 600mm f/4G
Changing my position to capture a willing subject from a different perspective also provides some side-lit images.
The feast is not limited to lapwings only. Other species also capitalise on the abundance nature provides.
Crocodile Bridge - Kruger National Park
Situated in the south-eastern corner of the Kruger National Park, on the bank of the Crocodile River is the small Crocodile Bridge rest camp,
also serving as an entrance gate to the south-eastern part of the Kruger National Park.
This section of the park is known as the Crocodile Bridge area, and from here we will explore the south-eastern section of the park in a series of articles.
One of my favourite routes, "Crocodile Bridge - S28 - S137 - S130 (north) - S28 - Crocodile Bridge" route wander through this
section of the Kruger National Park. Just a few kilometres north of the Crocodile Bridge rest camp, the S28 road meander through
Knob thorn / Marula tree savannah and provides some of the most productive wildlife photography area in the Southern parts of the
Kruger National Park.
Scattered along the S130 road are small depressions filled with water during the rainy season, attracting a wide variety of wildlife
looking to quenching their thirst in the African heat.
In this article we will however focus on one depression in particular in the small northern section of the S130 road, among
Knob Thorn thickets.
Below is a pictorial representation of photographic opportunities during a 10 day visit to this area in 2013.
Situated on the western side of the S130 road this small depression provides great opportunities during the early mornings.
Open on the eastern side it allows the rich golden morning light to fill the entire area.
Early mornings also provide opportunities for the last glimpse of nocturnal species quenching their thirst before the lazy daylight hours begin.
The Crocodile Bridge area is a predator rich environment and this small section is no exception with big predators frequently visiting the
depression, and with predators you always have the opportunity to find scavengers. On two occasions I could see lions in the thicket but
the opportunity to immortalise these magnificent African creatures eluded me this time.
I was fortunate to be able to share a moment in time with one of these nocturnal visitors, an African Civet a solitary animal with
a secretive life style visited the depression. Probably a frequent visitor to this depression during its early morning strolls back
During one of my early morning visits to the depression, a Spotted-hyaena visited the waterhole. Clearly evident from the colour of
this individual’s fur, it was feasting before thirst drove the Spotted hyaena to the depression.
This female hyaena approached the water hole with caution. Before entering the water the hyaena carefully observed her surroundings.
"Clean" at last, , she disappeared in to the surrounding thickets.
The water also attracts a wide variety of general game species seeking to quench their thirst.