Magical moments

This waterhole in Pilanesberg National Park is a haven for birds, and that is why we had parked our car there. Suddenly, all the birds flew up. I looked around, and there she was: a female leopard coming for a drink. What a magical moment! We sat in awe, my hands slightly shaking from the excitement. Fortunately I did manage to capture the moment before the leopard walked away again!

World Giraffe Day

Today is World Giraffe Day. Did you know that? I didn’t until I read it on Facebook. The shortest day for the longest-necked animal – it’s kind of fitting. Let’s pause and think about this beautiful and strange animal that is in danger of extinction today!

Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa

My favorite

Of all the animals one might encounter on a safari, I think the leopard is my favorite. It’s strong and graceful, cat-like enough to seem cuddly, and threatening at the same time. Look at this one, glaring at me while still appearing so relaxed!

Photo taken at the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria, South Africa

Happy baby elephants

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.

Zebra love

We encountered a group of zebras standing on the road. After waiting for a while, a second group arrived. In this photograph zebras from the two groups meet and greet each other. Such affection and love!

Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa