The majestic impala

The humble impala is one of the most common animals one might encounter on a safari game drive. While first-time visitors may be reasonable impressed by the impalas’ soft eyes and the males’ horns, those who have been on safari more often generally just pass them by. Impalas are ubiquitous, they are everywhere – and like everything that is considered ‘normal’, they lose some of their allure.

I often pass the impalas by too. But I’m happy that on this occasion I didn’t. Because this is a majestic impala, with impressive horns, completely at ease while eating his grass. He looks at us but knows that here, today, he is the king of this grassy field.

Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa

Celebrating the King

Today in the Netherlands it is Kingsday. Dutch people all over the world celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s 50th birthday.

The lion is called the ‘king of the jungle’. A bit of a strange label, since lions live on the African savanna and not in the jungle. But I can imagine what makes the lion king-like: his┬ámane circles his head like a crown, and his pose is absolutely majestic.

That’s not to say that a lion is never afraid or threatened. Just before this photograph was taken, two lions – locally known as Ginger (the albino) and Garlic – were resting in a very relaxed manner. Then two elephants approached.

The approach

The lions were immediately alert, and moved away when the elephants came closer. Like any earthly king, the lion is not almighty…