Diederik cuckoo

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.

Giraffe in black and white

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

Kori bustard on the move

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.

Klipspringer on the rocks

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 tongue of a giraffe

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!

Fighting giraffes

Giraffes seem such gentle animals, but looks can deceive. Giraffes fight by clobbering each other with their necks. Male giraffes fight for dominance in a certain area, and for the right to mate with the females in that area. A giraffe’s neck is a powerful weapon, and the clashes of neck against neck can sometimes be heard from afar.