White-bellied sunbird

The white-bellied sunbird is one of the beautifully colored sunbirds of southern Africa. I took this photo in Pilanesberg National Park, but they are common around our house as well. Actually, once a female white-bellied sunbird flew through a window into our livingroom. She sensed immediately that something was wrong and perched on one of the windowsills in front of a closed window. She didn’t protest when I scooped her up in my hand and let her outside. A white-bellied sunbird is 10 cm long and weighs between 6 and 10 grams. Such a special experience to hold this tiny bundle of feathers in my hands!

Baby zebra grazing

A small baby zebra is gingerly tasting the green shoots between the rocks on the ground. Zebras are born after thirteen months of gestation. They start nibbling on grass within a few weeks from birth. The coat of a baby zebra is more brownish than the clean black and white of the adult. It is also adorably fluffy!
Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park

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.

Snack on the go

A big bull elephant having a snack on the go. Elephants are vegetarians; they eat leaves, bark, grass, roots, and even fruits. Although they eat a massive amount of food each day – up to 150 kg! – their digestive system doesn’t break it down very effectively. Elephant dung therefore still contains a lot of nutrients, which other animals make use of!
Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park

Beautiful male leopard

That moment when you drive over a bridge and look down into the eyes of a big male leopard… Pilanesberg hosts a good many leopard, but spotting them always seems to be a game of chance. I can tell you my hands shake every time I meet one of these magnificent creatures!
Photo taken in Pilanesberg National Park

Klipspringer resting on a rock

One of my favorite animals since we first saw them in a zoo in the Netherlands. Klipspringer literally means ‘rock jumper’, and it is one of the things they do best. You can find them on rocky outcrops, although they are hard to spot because their coat blends in so well with the environment. Klipspringers are largely monogamous, and partners generally stay within five meters of each other. Females are generally a bit larger than the males, but only the males have short and spiky horns. Such a joy to find these in the wild!