An adorable baby rhino resting in the shade. Rhinos spend their days and nights grazing, only resting during the hottest hours of the day. After birth, a baby rhino can walk within an hour. A rhino is born without a horn, but the front horn becomes visible within one or two months. The back horn starts growing when the calf is about a year old. The calf will stay with its mother for about three years before setting off on its own.
An elephant mother and her calf drinking at a waterhole.
Photo taken in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
An elephant mum and baby playing at a waterhole in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. Waterholes like this are especially popular during the dry season from May to November. During this time, there is no rain and as the grass and leaves turn brown and dry the animals need access to a stable water supply. In this wet area one pool of water was used for drinking, while another became a swimming pool. The elephants greatly enjoy bathing; splashing in the mud until they are as brown as the soil. After the bath comes a dusting of sand. When this elephant sunscreen is in place it is time to move on.
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In Southern Africa, elephants regularly fall victim to poaching or to conflicts about living space with farmers and villagers. Sometimes baby elephants are left orphaned when their mother is killed – elephants drink their mother’s milk until they are three years old. In Zambia, Game Rangers International rescues, rehabilitates, and releases orphaned elephants back into the wild. The youngest elephants are cared for at the elephant nursery in Lilayi, close to Lusaka. There they receive bottles of milk every three hours and are taken into the bush to learn to vend for themselves. Everyday between 11.30 and 13.00 hrs visitors can watch how the babies are fed – a lovely sight, as you can see in this photograph. When they are a little older, the elephants are taken to Kafue National Park to join other older orphaned elephants, to work towards reintegration with elephants in the wild.
A newborn giraffe seems a fitting picture for this new website. In the past years, photography has become an important part of my life. In my free time, I love hiking, safaris and enjoying nature through photography. When I’m outside, the greatest and smallest creatures leave me in awesome wonder, and I feel connected to the divine. In this blog I aspire to share something of this experience.
Like this blog, the giraffe in the picture had just been born – a part of the umbilical cord is still visible. The baby was following its mother into the bush of the Pilanesberg National Park. I just love the fluffiness of its fur; it looks just like a cuddly toy giraffe…