A full body view of a brown hyena standing in the grass, watching me. Brown hyenas are nog considered the most beautiful animals, with their straggly hair and their slanting backs. They are also quite shy, so getting a good picture of one is a feat in itself. This brown hyena was on its way to a zebra carcass that the lions had just left, ready to eat any meat and bones that were left over. In case you are wondering what’s that next to his nose, yes, it’s a spider.
One of the beautiful cuckoos that are summer visitors to South Africa. Once the rains start, the calls of the cuckoos can be heard everywhere in the bush. This glorious green bird is called the Diederik cuckoo, because its name sounds like the Dutch/Afrikaans name Diederik: It calls “Die- die- diederik!” Unfortunately hearing cuckoos is much easier than actually seeing them, so I was very happy when this one perched on a branch for a moment.
Giraffes are cautious but curious animals. If you stop to watch them, they are likely to come closer and watch what strange thing is parked in front of them. I once saw a pair of giraffes move slowly towards a pride of lions, seemingly just to check them out…
Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park
The Kori Bustard is a huge, almost prehistoric-looking bird. It’s the heaviest bird in Africa and possibly the world that still is able to fly. However, it spends most of its time on the ground, searching for lizards, insects, or even berries. The impala in the photo has nothing to fear from the kori bustard, although it did feel the need to watch it pass.
A klipspringer standing on a rocky outcrop in the fading evening light in Pilanesberg National Park. Finding a klipspringer is always a highlight of my gamedrives, they are one of our absolute favorite animals. This one seems to have a serious bad hair day – or possibly it escaped the claws of a predator, for example of one of the leopards that are regularly seen on these rocks. Go well, dear klipspringer!
The trees have been struggling for the lack of rain. Last night we had the first really good rains of the season, and I’m hoping for many more new spring leafs in the coming week!
Giraffes have wonderfully long tongues to reach the farthest leaves on a tree. Did you known that a giraffe’s tongue can reach 50 cm? This giraffe was licking the salt stone at Pilanesberg Center, and felt the need to stick his tongue out at us!