Archive for ‘April, 2013’

Rare Sightings!

Sorry for not blogging for a few days. I was very busy guiding and teaching photography. Now I am off work for seven days 🙂

So, I thought I share a few recent and very Thanda special sightings with you.

We spotted a small Serval on the fence to our base camp. This was my first Serval sighting at Thanda …

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… our dominant male Lion got quite a fright when he almost stepped on this Puff Adder in the dark. The snake gave him a warning hiss and continued on its path …

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.. and another first for me was a Secretary Bird hunting on our savanna …

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… and last but not least two of my favorite Rhino images from the last two weeks. A Rhino illuminated with red light walking at moonlight and …

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… a Rhino having a mud bath – pure bliss!

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ET?

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It might look like something from a science fiction movie, but is a small insect, a Praying Mantis.

This specimen took a ride on my vehicle for over 20 minutes. The Thanda guests enjoyed taking pictures of this little “alien” 🙂

PS: If you are male Praying Mantis you live very dangerously – see below!

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About Praying Mantis:

Mantodea (or mantises, mantes) is an order of insects that contains over 2,400 valid species in 15 families worldwide. The English common name for any species in the order is “Praying Mantis”, because of the typical “prayer-like” posture with folded fore-limbs.

Sexual cannibalism is common among mantises in captivity, and may also be observed in the field. The female may begin feeding by biting off the male’s head, and if mating has begun, the male’s movements may become even more vigorous in its delivery of sperm. The male engages the female in courtship dance, to change her interest from feeding to mating.

Convinced!

20130423 - Collage 1814 - E - SIGI am convinced!

With all the input from many snake experts around the world I have changed the story 🙂

“When we were on the way to pick up our Thanda guests for the afternoon game drive we ran into these two Black Mambas. The two males were fighting for mating rights with a female in the midday sun on one of the main roads at Thanda. Both of them were so engaged in their actions that they were completely oblivious of us. What a sighting!”

For more images of this encounter go to https://christiansperka.wordpress.com/2013/04/21/mating-mambas/

“Fighting” Mambas

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I am convinced!

With all the input for many snake experts around the world I have changed the story 🙂 :

“When we were on the way to pick up our Thanda guests for the afternoon game drive we ran into these two Black Mambas. The two males were fighting for mating rights with a female in the midday sun on one of the main roads at Thanda. Both of them were so engaged in their actions that they were completely oblivious of us. What a sighting!”

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About Black Mambas:

The Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) is the longest venomous snake in Africa. It is named for the black color of the inside of the mouth rather than the color of its scales which varies from dull yellowish-green to a gun-metal grey. It is also the fastest snake in the world, capable of moving at 4.32 to 5.4 meters per second (16–20 km/h, 10–12 mph). The Black Mamba has a reputation for being very aggressive, but it usually attempts to flee from humans like most snakes, unless it is threatened. Without rapid and vigorous anti-venom therapy, a bite from a Black Mamba is almost always fatal.

Mum

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This is a picture I took yesterday of the mum of our new Cheetah cubs. She was away from the cubs feeding on a kill when I was able to get this image.

Success!

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Great news for Cheetah conservation. A Cheetah female on Thanda Private Game Reserve gave birth to four cubs. Yesterday we managed to get pictures of the five weeks old cubs for the first time. They played around a thicket in which their mum hides them when she goes hunting.

The collage shows a few images of the cubs and the mother. Theses pictures were taken with 910 mm lens length across a valley  (hence the marginal quality :-)).

20130418 - CS1_9402 - E - SIGEnjoy your weekend!

Get a meal!

Imagine you are a Cheetah male!

You have not a had a meal for a while and you and your brother are getting hungry …

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… you stalk some newly arrived Impala. It is a good thing (for you not them) that they do not know the area so well yet 🙂 and …

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… you got one. And after a good and hasty meal (not touching the prey’s stomach – its smell could attract some nasty company) …

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… you can hardly move …

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… so you decide to clean yourself up a bit and get some needed rest – A good day!

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New Arrivals!

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Hundreds of additional Impalas, Wildebeest, Nyala, Zebra and Kudus are arriving over the next few weeks at Thanda Private Game Reserve. This large number of additional plains game will enhance the excellent Thanda Game Drive Experience even further. Besides seeing the Big Five on daily drives it is very exciting to see large groups of these herbivores roaming on the reserve.

Thanda will also receive additional Cape Buffalo Bulls. Together with over 30 Buffalo birth in this rainy season, this will bring the number of Buffalo at Thanda to well over 160.

The images show the release of Impala and Wildebeest onto the reserve…

… and this is a link to a short video from one of the Impala arrivals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67OVEjBepFw

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