Friday, April 27

Battling Giraffe

A sight not often witnessed is that of two male giraffe having a serious and physical “debate” as to who is the more dominant.

In the 5 years that I have been guiding in Kruger I have only seen this happen a handful of times and usually it is either fairly distant, or partially obscured by vegetation.

And in most of these previous events the two males concerned did not appear to be fully committed to battle.......

A week ago Joseph, Tinecke (my guests) and I spent half an hour watching two males have a very serious go at each other. We were about 50 metres from the battleground and could clearly hear the thud of horns meeting flesh and see the judder go through the smitten giraffe.

In the relatively short time that we spent with these two animals there did not appear to be a clear winner and when we left they were still jostling each other for the best position to swing again......

These photos show just a little of the action.........

 (please click on the the first photo to see them enlarged)

PS - this pose, much beloved by photographers and artists alike - is not a "friendly" one. It is the two males lining up for battle!

Sunday, April 15

Bonding with Baboons

In many areas of Africa the Chacma Baboon has become a pest, raiding cultivated fields and human habitation.

When one visits the private game reserves of South Africa it is rare to see anything of a baboon except it's rear end as it lopes away!

In Kruger Park however, there is enough space empty of human habitation, for the baboons to have to live naturally without reliance on human provided food.......

Many tourist roads in Kruger run through baboon habitats, so they have become relatively relaxed with vehicles and we can often get wonderful photos of them, especially when they are being social early in the morning or late afternoon.

This particular troop on the Timbavati River provided us some entertainment last week. I could have spent hours watching them.......

Friday, April 6

One of those special days....

It's amazing how an ordinarily great day in the bush can become something quite special......

Not because of wonderful sightings of the Big 5 or any of those other annoying "must see" animals, but when the more "common" animals do special things.

From the wildebeest rolling about in their small mud wallow, to the "clutch" of 50 plus young ostriches nervously huddling, to the crocodile swimming his impala catch up the river, the impala lambs racing, stotting, leaping in a huge circle around the herd........

This last week we had one of those "special" days. Oh, yes, we did see lion, wild dog, elephant, rhino, buffalo, and many other great animals and birds, but these were the memories we talked about that night around the boma fire.

(to enlarge the photos please click on them)

Sunrise as we enter Kruger National Park

A curious Black backed jackal

Those gnu were having a wonderful time!
Blue Wildebeest aka Brindled Gnu

I've never seen so many ostrich together in Kruger...

The crocodile with dead impala (apologies for quality - it was a long way off)

Impala lambs having fun!

Thanks to Thomas and Birgit, if you hadn't been there nor would have I!