Archive for ‘October, 2012’

Bull Fight!

Today we had a very nice sighting of our breeding herd of Elephants. They were walking up a hill in front of us. I took these pictures of two young bulls at the end of the herd having a bit of a fight (sparring would be a better word).

Have a good week 🙂

A Warthog burrow, the Lions close and the Landi stuck :-)

Today I got my Land Rover properly stuck for the first time. While we were trying to get close to a pride of Lions resting in thick bush I dropped my right back wheel into the entrance of an old Warthog borrow which was filled with water (it looked like a puddle!).

So Bheki and I got to work while are guests remained on the vehicle. In close proximity to the Lions we used a high-lift-jack to lift the car out of the hole, placed two special “mud-ramps” under the wheel and drove the car out of the hole. This was a first such rescue mission for me. The guest thought the procedure was very exciting.

So for today I have chosen a Lion picture (taken today – a cub hugging an adult’s tail for comfort) and a picture of two Warthogs (taken a while ago – two males fighting).

I have no pictures of the vehicle rescue (I was otherwise engaged at the time :-))

 

Buffalo Droppings

Well, dung plays a huge role in the bush 🙂

Here are two examples of its use, which are quite unusual.

We were watching a herd of Buffalo having a rest in the grass when two White Rhinos (mother and calf) moved right in between and started chasing the Buffalo around.

The reason was to get to the fresh droppings of these large ruminants. Both mother and calf started eating the fresh droppings with obvious gusto. I am not sure why, but I assume there is something in fresh Buffalo dung that is good for Rhinos :-).

And then I saw a Buffalo cow moving across with a calf drinking while they were moving. This is quite usual.

And while the young one was drinking the mother defecated copiously on top of the calf’s head. This did not disturb the little one as it kept drinking. After a while it moved off with its unusual “head-cover”.

I learn new things every day, even about dung!

Bheki

I would like to introduce Bheki to you.

Without him I could hardly do my job at Thanda. He is my “Communication and Navigation Officer”. Bheki is an excellent tracker. He is constantly on the outlook for tracks and signs of animals in the bush and he communicates with the other trackers over the radio.

The picture above shows him in his “front office” of our Land Rover.

Bheki is a tracker for over 20 years. He knows the bush very well and he enhances our game drives with many stories for the guests. In the second picture he shows a Wildebeest carcass, which had been killed and eaten by lions.

Walking in the bush (with the big five around him) is no problem for Bheki. With only his panga (the African version of a machete) as protection he often walks off by himself looking for tracks.

In the third picture Bheki shows a (harmless) Scorpion to our guests during a drink stop at sundown.

 

Bheki is a man living in the Zulu tradition. He has a beautiful piece of land in a local Zulu community on Lake St.Lucia where he lives with his family. He has two wives and nine children. His father before him had nine wives and Bheki has 64 brothers and sisters.

Growing Fast!

When I saw our Lion cubs last night I had a hard time to believe that they could grow that fast in only 10 days.

We spotted them on a Wildebeest kill last night and watched them this morning eating from the kill and having a refreshing drink from mum 🙂

Enjoy the pictures!

 

Proof!

When I drove towards Thanda House this morning I saw a few yellowish spots in a tree, which we not there before.

When I came closer I was surprised to see Lions lounging in a tree next to the road. And I was even more surprised to not only see the juveniles in the tree, but also one of the big Lionesses.

I watched them for a while (and they me :-)) until they decided that it got too hot up there and they moved across the road into thick (and cool) bush.

It was as that they wanted to proof the point I made with a picture I published yesterday (Lions and Trees – https://christiansperka.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/lions-and-trees/).

Identified

The picture in the previous post was of two Cape Buffalo bulls fighting!

Here is the complete picture.

 

PS: Please note the “un-disturbed” Oxpecker on the bull to the left 🙂

Identify?

It is a very rainy day at Thanda and I am not driving today. So I was working in my office on pictures. I came across an interesting picture and I cut out a detail.

Can you identify the species, the number of animals involved and the activity they are engaged in?

Lions and Trees

It is often said that Lions only seldom climb trees.

In my experience it happens quite regular. Especially with cubs and juveniles. If one of the youngsters climbs a tree all the others usually have to follow :-).

And sometimes this can be quite amusing as the young males are usually much more clumsy at this than the females.

Have a great Sunday!

PAKAMISA and Back to Work!

Well, I thought seven days off is a lot of time. Not so!

I was busy with all kinds of things – but with very little wildlife. My car got its first (10,000km) service, I started the process to get a South African Driver’s license (back to driving school :-)), went to the dentist, and … and … and …

But, yesterday I got a bit of a break. I spent a night in a beautiful game reserve, specializing on horseback safaris. Its name is Pakamisa, which means “lift up” in Zulu. The lodge is located on top of a mountain near Pongola. Isabella Stepski (In the picture with one of her Arabian Horses) has created this very special place in Zululand.

Well, don’t laugh, but the horses are not strong enough for a portly gentlemen like me (the rider weight limit is 90kg=200lbs), but I still enjoyed my stay very much. The weather was bad – it rained very hard – but we still went for a short game drive and had a look at the scenery and at the stables with over 30 horses (the picture shows one of the Horses with one of the free roaming Ostriches on the property).

Even if you have never been on horseback before, this special type of safari is a great addition to the traditional “big five game reserve” experience. I will certainly be back to take pictures in better weather :-). Have a look at Pakamisa’s website www.pakamisa.com!