The Jesus bird

The African jacana seems to walk over the water and is therefore sometimes jokingly called the ‘Jesus bird’. In fact they are placing their long toes on the stems and leaves of floating vegetation. Jacanas are very special in that they are polyandrous, which means that one female has several male partners who take care of the chicks.Photo taken in Dinokeng Game Reserve.

Portrait of a giraffe

A black and white portrait of a giraffe that was checking us out. Giraffes are quite curious animals. If they see something strange – like a car, but I’ve also seen them do this with lions – they will watch it intently before ambling away.
Photo taken in Dinokeng Game Reserve

The elephant’s teeth

A small baby elephant crosses the road, chewing on a stick. Maybe his teeth are coming through? Actually, elephants are born with four small molars, which they will lose when they are about two years old. Unlike humans, who have milk teeth first and then change to their final set of teeth, elephants change their teeth troughout live. A long-living elephant goes through six sets of molars that replace the teeth that become worn out by chewing grasses and trees. The loss of their final set of teeth is a major cause of death among aged elephants.

Secretary bird

The magnificent secretary bird is one of my favorite animals to encounter on a safari. So it really felt as a gift from the universe to encounter one on my birthday yesterday! We spotted it while it was still far off. Luckily, while we waited he came closer and closer to our vehicle so that I was able to capture this image.
Photo taken in Rietvlei Nature Reserve.

Giraffe

Giraffes are so tall they are actually quite hard to photograph with a telelens. Glad to have gotten some landscape in there with this one!
Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park

Maximus in black and white

Maximus is one of the big male leopards in Pilanesberg National Park. In general, male leopards are larger and more muscular than the females. They live alone, seeking the company of females only in the mating season. Male leopards are known to fight with other males who intrude in their territory. Females are less aggressive towards other leopards, and their territories are smaller.

Don’t look back in anger

As he walked away from our attention, the leopard threw one last look at us over his shoulder. These sightings are always too short!
Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park.