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!
This leopard had just caught a big bushbuck in Pilanesberg. I’m not sure how that was even possible, I’ve never seen bushbuck there, and he just catches one! He was still panting heavily in the shade of a bush. His kill was lying a meter off, too heavy to be carried up a tree. Later, that night, a couple of lions chased the leopard away and feasted on his kill. Such hard work, and so little joy from it!
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!
Life can be so cruel… This little elephant had been left alone by his family in Pilanesberg, and was wandering alone for a while, visibly getting weaker. This photo was taken this morning at Lengau Dam. When we drove past a second time, it was lying in the bush.
Later today a vet examined the poor little fellow, and discovered that he had a big lump in his throat. It was to deep for the vet to reach, and it obviously prevented the elephant from eating. The decision was taken to put him down. In the autopsy it was discovered that he had a big tree root stuck in his throat – a freak accident, one could say.
What a sad day!
In some ways, it was a sad week in Pilanesberg National Park. A black rhino calf was killed by lions; a young cheetah was killed by a leopard; and a young elephant died after a tree root became stuck in its throat.
But the circle of life means that there is more than sadness in nature. We saw this newborn springbok lamb drinking his mother’s milk, ready to start a new life. Let’s hope it will be long and happy!
A cheeky crested barbet perching on the edge of our balcony at Jaci’s Tree Lodge. He looks like he wants to say, “Hey, are you gonna give me some food or what?”