We had heard about the deer rut in the Hoge Veluwe National Park, so we decided to check it out yesterday. Waiting for the gate to the park to open, it hit me: this is a safari! We drove our car slowly through the park, full of anticipation. The map indicates a few hotspots for deer, which were already filling up. There must have been a hundred other people in the park, setting up their tripods, waiting for the deer to arrive where they should be according to the map.
From where we stood, I could see a small group of deer resting on a grassy field. There was a strong wind blowing from behind us. I was worried that the deer would smell all these people waiting for them and wouldn’t come out. But, a little while later, Hermen came running, saying that he had spotted a deer a hundred meters down the road.
It was amazing! It seemed like the worst (or best) part of the rut was already over. The male deer had already collected their groups of females and were not that interested in fighting each other – at least not while we were there.
Such proud animals, with their heads held high! And such antlers must weigh quite something! Back in our original spot, the group of deer that were resting had also woken up and came close to the road. Great, these animals that follow the maps! We’re very happy to have had this chance to go on safari in the Netherlands.
It had rained all night on this day in January 2020. We even got up a little later to give the clouds a chance to clear up. It was still raining as we got into the park and we didn’t really expect any great sightings – we expected the wildlife to be hiding well under the green bushes.
It was therefore a huge surprise when we encountered a pride of lions in an open area, just finishing off their catch of a zebra. The males already had had enough and were lounging on the grass. One by one, the females also walked off from the carcass to lie down. After spending an hour with these magnificent animals, they leisurely ambled off and out of sight.
This is a compilation of some video material I took on this sighting.
We went to Madikwe Game Reserve for the first time in 2018, and were blown away by the hospitality and the brilliant sightings we had. This was one of the highlights of our trip: a pride of lions, I believe it was two females and about four cubs, walking around in the early morning light. A breath taking experience!
A young elephant bull on a black background. I know it’s not for everyone, this style of low key editing called ‘black photo’, but it’s what I love. It brings out dramatic contrasts between dark and light in an almost chiaroscuro style.
A close up view of a male lion walking past. It was so great to spend some time last January with a pride of lions that had just devoured a zebra. They were lying around, then getting up, lying down again, until they finally moved out of sight into the thickets. While female lions are beautiful, it’s the males that really stop my heart!
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.