PICTURE OF THE WEEK – AFRICAN LION

The flehmen grimace is a rather comical sight produced by many male mammals. The main organ involved in the grimace is the Jacobson’s (vomeronasal) organ, in the nasal cavity just above the roof of the mouth.

The function of flehmen is to identify reproductive status of a possible sexual partners by ‘analyzing’ pheromones in the air.

To accomplish this the male will inhale a lot of air through the mouth which will then reach the Jacobson’s organ.

Have a good week!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

MAMMAL FRIDAY – PLAINS ZEBRA

Plains Zebras (Equus quagga) are the most common and geographically widespread Zebra species (Southern and Eastern Africa).

The subspecies resident at Thanda Safari is called Burchell’s Zebra.

Enjoy your weekend!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

BIRD WEDNESDAY & NEW YEARS DAY – YELLOW-FRONTED CANARY

It was a hot first day of the year so I thought this picture of two Yellow-fronted Canaries – having a refreshing bath – would be appropriate for the first post in 2020. These small birds are also knows as Green Singing Finches.

I hope you had a good start into the new year!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

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