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

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

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

PICTURES OF THE WEEK – SLEEPY LIONS

Sleepy Sunday?

Take a leaf from the Lions’s book 😊

Male African Lions spend up to 20 hours a day snoozing, females get up to 18 hours of shuteye. That re-defines the word cat-nap!

Have a good week!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

MAMMAL FRIDAY – SOUTH AFRICAN GIRAFFE

A newborn South African Giraffe is ~1.8m (~6ft) tall. After a few hours of birth, the calf can run and is almost indistinguishable from a one-week-old.

Mothers with calves will often gather in nursery herds. In such a groups they may sometimes leave their calves with one female while they forage and drink elsewhere. This is known as a “calving pool”.

Have a pleasant weekend!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

PICTURE OF THE WEEK – IMPALA

Have you ever wondered why Impalas usually look so immaculately groomed?

The answer is allogrooming (grooming one another with specially designed teeth). Impalas appear to be the only ungulates to display self-grooming as well as allogrooming.

I took this picture of a group of recently born and very cute Impala fawns during this afternoon game drive.

Have a good week!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

Mammal Friday – Cheetah

This young *Cheetah* female was very alert when I took this picture. She made a quick bark-like sound as we came a bit too close for her comfort. As we backed off she relaxed and stayed for a photo session.

Interesting Cheetah fact: Cheetahs cannot roar. Non-roaring cats like Cheetahs have a one-piece hyoid bone. Only four of the 38 wild cat species can roar: Lion, Tiger, Leopard and Jaguar.

#thandasafari @thandasafari #christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography