Happy New Year 2020

That’s it for 2019. I am on my way to Pakamisa for a few days of relaxation over the New Year’s holiday. I wish all of you a Happy New Year! My next post will be in 2020 😊

VIDEO OF THE WEEK – BLUE WILDEBEEST

Yesterday morning I took this video showing a baby Blue Wildebeest – also called Striped Gnu – standing up for the first time and following its mum. This happened only minutes after the birth.

Sorry for the shaky camera work, but I had to hand-hold a 500mm lens to get this footage.

Mother and child were running just ten minutes later. Nature is marvelous!

And, for the last time in 2019: Have a good week!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

MAMMAL FRIDAY – ELEPHANTS

On Christmas Day morning I enjoyed the sights and sounds of a herd of African Elephants around a Thanda Safari House waterhole.

I thought you might like this short video.

Enjoy the last weekend of 2019!

#christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

BIRD WEDNESDAY & CHRISTMAS DAY

One of my favorite pictures of one of my favorite birds – a Malachite Kingfisher – as a special Christmas treat.

Enjoy the day wherever you are!

#christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020

Dear Friends,

2019 was a good year for me. I got my permanent residence permit for South Africa in June. My Thanda Cats book got published in December. Many friends from all over the world visited me at Thanda. I was able to organize support for many underprivileged kids in rural Zululand. I got to help many people improving their wildlife photography, no matter if it was with a smart phone or an expensive DSLR. And, last but ot least, I spend many hours in the bush to capture the beauty of nature with my cameras.

I am looking forward to 2020 which is starting with a special trip to Europe. For January I got an invitation from very kind friends to visit their photography exhibition in Brussels, Belgium. This will also give me the opportunity to visit my family and meet up with some of my friends in Germany and Switzerland. And many more interesting projects will come throughout the year. A highlight will be my trip to Europe in April to visit my family and celebrate my mum’s 80th birthday.

I will be working (and posting) at Thanda Safari until 29 December. As last year I will spend the days over New Years at Pakamisa, which will be my 60th! stay at this beautiful place. In the first week of January I will depart for Europe.

On this 4th advent Sunday, I would like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2020. Thanks for all your interest in my wildlife post throughout the year.

Enjoy your Holidays!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK – ELEPHANTS

Midday on Friday a herd of African Elephants rushed past my home to get to the waterhole nearby. I followed them and was treated to a bit of entertainment.

Both Thanda herds met around the water on this very hot summer day. And as usual when two herds join it resulted in quite a bit of harmless chasing and trumpeting. What a show!

I thought you might like this short iPhone video collage.

Enjoy your Sunday and the upcoming Christmas week!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

MAMMAL FRIDAY – CHEETAH

A remarkable feature of Cheetahs is their unusually low genetic variability in comparison to other cats.

Individuals are genetically very similarity to one another. It is assumed that this might have resulted from a long period of inbreeding, following a genetic bottleneck during the last ice age.

These pictures of a Cheetah female – watching a two male coalition down the road and meeting them – were taken at Thanda Safari.

Have a good weekend!

#Thandasafari @thandasafari #christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

THANDA CATS BOOK

I am very happy to announce that the new THANDA CATS Coffee Table Book is now available for purchase in the curio shops at the Thanda Safari Lodge and at the Thanda Tented Camp.

I worked for the last ten year to put together this portfolio of Lion, Leopard and Cheetah images. All pictures were taken on Thanda Safari.

The book also features nature-related quotes from all over the world.

I am very grateful to Thanda for publishing this new edition. My special thanks to Pierre Delvaux, Thanda Safari’s Managing Director, for writing the foreword, to Dr. Luke Hunter, one of the world’s leading wild cat specialists, for contributing the introduction to the 108 page portfolio and to Heather Dugmore for editing the text.

The hard cover version is available for ZAR700 (i~EUR43/USD48) and the soft cover version for R600 (~EUR37/USD41). In case you are interested in purchasing a copy please send an email to christian@sperka.com.

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

BIRD WEDNESDAY – SECRETARYBIRD

Unlike most birds of prey, the Secretarybird (Sagittarius serpentarius) is hunting its prey on foot, usually in pairs, stalking through the habitat with long strides.

Their prey consists of reptiles, insects, small mammals, birds and the occasional carrion.

They are well known for their ability to catch and kill snakes, even venomous ones!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

ECTOTHERM MONDAY – ANTS

Some *Ants* hunt, some just scavenge, some feed of the nectar of other animals. When they do kill their prey they tear them apart with their sharp strong mandibles.

It has been estimated that over 22,000 species of different Ant species live on earth, over 13,000 have been classified. South Africa has over 500 different species.

I took this picture of an Ant attack in my front garden at Thanda House.

This pictures were taken after dark with my iPhone XS Max.

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari