20 inspired wildlife images from Mombo


Matt McCreedy


There are few places on earth that offer a wildlife experience like Wilderness Mombo. Known as the ‘Place of Plenty,’ Mombo boasts enormous concentrations of plains game and predators, and is considered to be one of the best areas for game viewing in Africa.


Mombo GM Matt McCreedy brings us his 20 favourite images to enjoy from the camp.


Black-and-white king –Pied kingfishers are amazing birds to photograph as they hover, keeping their body completely still but their wings flapping rapidly.


Hide and seek – As the area dries up, it allows us to view secretive nocturnal animals such as this aardwolf. My first sighting of an aardwolf in the wild, and what a great sighting it was.




All three images were taken at the same sighting. Pula’s daughter, Motsidi, wakes from an afternoon siesta, “showing off” for the camera.


A southern ground hornbill. These birds are often found in numbers of three to five birds, walking around looking for small mammals, snakes, frogs and lizards to feed on. The contrasts of colours made for a great photo opportunity.



These two images were taken on the same morning. The large lion pride managed to take down a buffalo in the late evening, just a few hundred metres south of Little Mombo, and proceeded to feed on it throughout the night. During wake up calls we heard the typical whooping and cackling of spotted hyena. We approached the buffalo kill to find over twenty hyena had pushed off the adolescent lions from the carcass. They proceeded to devour what was left while the young lions watched from the sidelines in anger and defeat. The lions then moved off and joined up with the rest of the pride allowing for a great opportunity to capture the pride walking towards us.


One of the three new male lions from the northern sector. My camera is light and easy to manoeuvre, and this allowed me to capture a good shot of this impressive lion.


During the impala lambing season, newly-born impala often fall prey to lurking predators, including baboons.


On an evening drive up to the lediba (lagoon) a large herd of buffalo began walking in our direction. We turned off the vehicle and waited for them to pass us, and managed to capture this young calf with its mother, and a cattle egret close by, waiting to grab insects kicked up by the large herd.


A male black-bellied bustard standing tall while he makes his unique call – a loud frog-like quark, followed by kwick (like a cork popping out of a bottle).


After driving through the bush for a few hours, I noticed a little green dot on the bonnet, and after taking a closer look I noticed it was a tiny praying mantis. Using the 12-100 mm pro lens I was able to get up close with it.


This photo says it all!



Motsidi and the vervet – While out on a drive we met up with Dom, one of the Natural History Film Unit crew, who was taking videos of vervet monkeys alarm-calling with their specific “leopard alarm call”. After waiting for Dom to stop filming I asked him where the leopard was, and he replied anxiously, “under my vehicle…” On closer inspection we saw this young female staring up at the monkey.


Eye see you – I managed to focus on the eye of this male lion while he fed on a warthog kill.


A rare sighting of a white-headed vulture. This bird is an uncommon resident and is listed as Vulnerable due to population decline.


On an afternoon drive trying to locate mating lions, this cat jumped across our path and disappeared into the bushes. A few of us were debating if it was in fact a caracal, due to the size and its ability to jump across the entire road with complete ease. After locating the cat again we noticed it was not a caracal but a very, very large African wildcat, which proceeded to groom itself and hang around unfazed by our vehicle.


It’s not all about the big teeth and big claws! This guy allowed me to get pretty close while he fed, before making a hasty getaway into the thicket.


This particular image is my favourite to date. In the early morning he rubbed himself up against our tent and then moved off onto the floodplain. This image sums up Mombo for me!

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