Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends in the USA (and any other country that celebrates this holiday). I hope all of you have a great day.

The closest I could find to a turkey here in South Africa was a Guinea Fowl. So I included a picture of this species with today’s message.

Crossing the Savanna

Thanda’s breeding herd of Elephant was crossing the savanna to get to a waterhole to drink and bath. These are a few black and white images I took at this beautiful sighting.


Summer time = Baby time :-)

A lot of animals have their babies arrive early in the rainy season (summer). This picture is of a small Zebra foal that was born in the last few days.

We also have many small Impalas. All of them were born in the last few days.

Enjoy your week!

Jump off the treadmill!

I did it already 🙂   –  Watch this video produced by a Swedish travel company for a “ranger for a while” competition on Thanda.

Truman Ndlovu, Head Guide at Thanda Private Game Reserve, is one of the judges for this exciting competition launch by the Swedish travel company SYDAFRIKARESOR.

In this video Truman introduces the competition and the beauty of Thanda.

To compete go to hoppaavekorrhjulet.se (the site is in Swedish).

Please share this video on Facebook – Thanks

Back at Thanda!

This time my “seven-day-weekend” was over very quickly. I got quite a bit of photography done at Pakamisa Private Game Reserve, but I will have to go back soon to finish up the job – I am looking forward to it.

The image below is one of my favorite pictures I took today (www.pakamisa.co.za). Pakamisa’s owner Isabella Stepski – on one of her horses – got very close to this Giraffe bull. He was quite relaxed being viewed from horseback.

A few days away was great, but I am also looking forward to driving again on Thanda.

Have a good weekend!

Close on Horse!

It is hard to believe to see how close the riders can get to Giraffe, Zebra and many other antelopes on Pakamisa Game Reserve.

I am spending three days of my “off time” at the reserve taking images of the lodge, the reserve and the beautiful horses on their game trails.

For me it is the second time on Pakamisa, but I certainly will be back. Horseback safaris are a great addition to a South African safari experience as they provide very close encounters in an area without dangerous game.

Have a look at Pakamisa’s website: http://www.pakamisa.co.za

PS: Unfortunately I cannot ride the Arab Horses at Pakamisa 😦 My portly figure is a bit to heavy for these beautiful creatures :-), so I took these pictures from a game vehicle.

Qualified :-)

I am now a qualified “Backup Trails Guide”. I have just received the certificate from FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa).

I have also passed my “Advanced Rifle Handling” course and once my rifle competency is registered with the South African Police I can start walking with clients in areas with “potential dangerous game”

The next step is to log another hundred hours of walking and another fifty encounters before I can be assessed as Lead Trails Guide. This will take quite a while.

Have a good week – mine is already very good 🙂

PS: The picture shows me walking as Trails Guide during my recent course – Picture: Craig Fitt – Thanks

Not only the Five!

It is not always the Big Five which provide beautiful and special sightings. This Waterbuck bull was looking at us when we drove towards him on Ndlovu Highway. A rare treat.

We got many different antelope species on Thanda. Next to Waterbuck we have Impala, Wildebeest, Nyala, Kudu, Duiker, Steenbok and Reedbuck on the reserve.

… and a little special Waterbuck info: Waterbuck and Elephant are the only two large mammal species on Thanda which will not allow Oxpeckers to sit on them and feast on their ticks (see yesterday’s post: https://christiansperka.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/oxpeckers-and-buffalotail/)

Summer Colors and Flat Tyres

The winter (dry season) is predominantly brown and grey.  But – as I learn now – when the wet season (summer) starts the bush becomes very colorful.

I took pictures of these nine plants just on one drive from my home to the lodge.

One of my favorite flowers is then one from the Sickle Bush (Dichrostachys cinerea, known also as Bell mimosa, Chinese lantern tree or Kalahari Christmas tree – second from the right/top).  The bush itself on the other hand is a real threat to us field guides. The spines on the bush are so hard that they go straight through a tyre and one ends up with a lot of flat tyres when “off-roading” in areas with these bushes!

OXpeckers and buffaloTAIL

These Red-billed Oxpeckers take a ride on the back of a Buffalo bull. His tail almost reached the birds when he was swiping it across his back. The bird with the black beak is an Oxpecker chick waiting for some food delivery from the adults 🙂

Have a good Sunday!