It feels so good!

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“I love it when these birds come and clean my ears out. All these ticks are such an nuisance!

Oh, great – a bit more to the left for the bird on the right and a bit deeper please for the bird on the left – there we go.

Oxpeckers are great!”

If this Buffalo cow could speak I think it would sound like this 🙂

Rhino Communication Center

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If you think that this White Rhino bull is just scraping his dung around you are mistaken. He is actually adding important information to this Rhino Communication Center, called a Midden. The same location is used by many Rhinos to place their dung and with it to place information.

A dominant bull will mark his territory and he will scrape the dung to show his dominance.

Females in the area by will leave their droppings, but they will not scrape. They leave a scent message for the dominant bull in case they are ready to mate. If that is the case he will pick up the info at his next visit and look for the lady.

Any young bull pathing through the territory will also leave his message (a distance away from the big guys’s stuff) without scraping to tell the dominant bull that he does not want to challenge him.

If another bull puts his dung on top or near the dominant bull’s droppings and scrapes them around then he declares his intention to challenge the territory holder. As soon as they meet they will fight!

So, if you see dung in the bush, it is not always just waste 🙂

I am a big Lion now!

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“Well, you probably have seen many pictures of me since last year.

Since this funny German photographer arrived here at Thanda we have had to pose constantly for pictures. But this way all of you Thanda fans got to see me, my brother and my two sisters growing up. Don’t I look like a big Lion now?

Christian – that’s the photo guys name – took his shot this week when I and my family were relaxing after a really big meal. Mom and grandma could hardly move and my cousin did not stir for hours. What a day!”

A blog message from a lion’s point of view 🙂

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Smart Birds!

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At a sighting with six White Rhino I took this image of a Fork-tailed Drongo.

These small birds are known for their ability to imitate the sound of other animals and for their hunting technique. They follow large mammals and hunt for any insects stirred up by their large “helpers”.

PS: One of the Rhinos provided the background for this image 🙂

More about Fork-tailed Drongos:

The Fork-tailed Drongos is a widespread resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara. These insect-eating birds are usually found in open forests or bush. They are aggressive and fearless birds, given their small size, and will attack much larger species, including birds of prey if their nest or young are threatened. The call is a metallic strink-strink. Fork-tailed Drongos are capable of using deceptive mimicked alarm calls to steal food from small mammals.

Near miss!

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Today the Thanda north pride of Lions only missed some Zebras by a few meters.

They demonstrated perfect Lion hunting tactics to the Thanda guests when two adult females all the sudden disappeared into the thick bush. A few minutes later they drove the Zebras into the road where another Lioness was ready for the fatal attack.

But, this time the Zebras got away and the Lions had to keep hunting!

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Close up and personal!

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One of the many advantages of a stay at a Private Game Reserve is that the guides know their environment very well. When viewing Elephants the knowledge of an individual bull enables great encounters. The Thanda guests on this drive enjoyed the close up and personal meeting with one of Thanda’s largest Elephant bulls, a very good natured individual.

Relaxed

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Thanda’s new male Lion is settling well into his temporary home on the reserve. He is now quite relaxed about his new surroundings.

This beautiful and very large cat came to Thanda from Addo Elephant National Park. His father originated from Marakele Game Reserve in South Africa and his mother from Etosha National Park in Namibia.

Special Activities

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At Thanda Private Game Reserve many special activities are available for guests. Today I took my guests to a “Hippo and Croc Cruise” on Lake St.Lucia. Great sightings of Hippos, Crocs and many birds. Another very enjoyable day as part of a 12 night stay agenda at Thanda.

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African Fish Eagle

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Nile Crocodile

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Hippopotamus

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Giant Kingfisher

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Pied Kingfisher

Lions and Wine!

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With two guest from Germany – staying for 12 nights at Thanda – we planned some game drives in rather remote areas of the reserve. When we drove in a very hilly area we spotted a Black Rhino moving fast across the opposite site of a valley.

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When we went off road down a slope to follow up we spotted one of Thanda’s pride of Lions lounging on the other side. We decided to lounge as well and my guests had some wine and snacks while watching the Lions. The Black Rhino had disappeared by this time into a very thick area – as they usually do. A very special game drive. Lions at sunset with a glass of red in your hands!

A New Male Lion for Thanda!

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A new male Lion has arrived at Thanda. Today this magnificent animal was released into a large enclosure (called “boma”) where he will spend some time until he will “take over” a new section of Thanda as dominant male.

When the transport container was opened he jumped out, did a short speed run, gave a few deep growls and then slowly inspected his new temporary home!

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