Crash and Pain

Another day with a lot of beginner’s luck. I set out with my group of volunteers this afternoon and the consent was that they all wanted to see Rhinos. One of my fellow guides suggested to look in an area around a waterhole with quite thick bush.

We found some Rhino middens (piles of dung) along the roads. These usually mark the boundary of a Rhino’s territory. We drove around for about an hour and found no fresh tracks, but we were very lucky and turned around a corner to meet a crash of six White Rhinos. We watched the beautiful creatures for over an hour and followed them to the waterhole, where they had their evening drink.

After we left the sighting we ran into a herd of Buffalo. The two males in the picture were sparring. It looked quite painful!

Another hard day in Africa 🙂

Sundowners!

Well, normally it is the Thanda guests that have some nice drinks in the bush at sunset. But today we were very lucky to see an Elephant breeding herd having their drinks at the largest waterhole on Thanda just before the sun set.

This evening’s game drive was excellent. First we saw six Elephant bulls feeding and sparring. Then two male Cheetahs made their appearance – being disturbed by the bulls – and at the end we saw the breeding herd crossing the savanna ending up at the waterhole.

What a day 🙂

 

No Elephants and a Beautiful Bird

I tried to find Elephants today, but I was not successful (= bush frustration :-). In the evening we found tracks and knew in which block they were, but they did not emerge before we had to leave (as all light was gone).

For my picture collection it was a good day. I added a new bird to my bird list and my picture library. It is of a Common (Greater) Scimitarbill, a beautiful bird with fluorescent colors.

Birds and Laughter!

I spent my Sunday in one of the many Kwazulu Natal Parks.  Mkuze Game Reserve is one of the smaller parks well known for its birds (It’s entrance is only 40 minutes from Thanda).

I had a look at all hides at the waterholes and at the large dam on the reserve. I got pictures of many bird species and also a lot of pictures of general game (e.g. Wildebeest, Zebra, Impala, Nyala and Warthogs).

The bird I chose for this blog message is a Pied Kingfisher. This bird hovers over the water until it sees its prey (fish) and then dives into the water.

The mammal picture I chose for this message is of a yawning (laughing 🙂 Zebra.

Have a good week!

Unexpected!

I thought I would have nothing to post today, but I was wrong.

When I left this morning at 6:45am to drive to Richards Bay I met a very unexpected scene. A Spotted Hyena was chasing a small Black-backed Jackal into a thicket next to the road. By the time I had my camera out they were gone 😦

I see this little scavenger regularly along the fence line, which I have to drive along to get from Thanda House to the gate of the reserve. The picture above is from one of these encounters.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Bird Bath

This afternoon I was sitting next to a waterhole when this Fork-tailed Drongo was taking a bath.

Have a good weekend!

PS: There will be no post tomorrow as I have to go into town for shopping 🙂

The King’s Land

This evening we went up to a outlook on the newest Thanda section. This land is owned by the King of the Zulus, HM Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, and is now managed by Thanda. It is planned to drop the fences between the original Thanda reserve and this new land soon.  Today, the photography volunteers did their sunset shooting assignment from this beautiful viewpoint.

Quite a few people have asked me about the volunteer program and the lodge.

African Impact runs various volunteer programs on the reserve. I am currently working as Thanda guide for the photography program. If you would like to know more about these programs go to http://www.africanimpact.com/volunteer-projects/projects/african-wildlife-photography-and-conservation-south-africa/overview .

If you like to know more about the Thanda Lodge and the Thanda Tented Camp go to http://www.thanda.com/. I am also teaching wildlife photography to guests at the lodge and the tented camp upon request.

Lion Chase!

Today we had a very interesting Lion sighting. The picture above suggests that this beautiful male Lion was chasing one of our Land Rovers.

He was not!

He was following three other male Lions on a neighbouring reserve up and down the fence. A lot of growling and snarling made for a very impressive “show” for our photography volunteers.

Enjoy the pictures!

Giraffe and Cheetah

Day 2 of driving the photography volunteers was great!

In this picture five of the volunteers are taking pictures of a Giraffe bull (we were in a Buffalo sighting at the time :-). My colleague Simo is driving the Land Rover in the picture. The other five volunteers were in my car.

In the afternoon I took a picture of a male Cheetah. He was resting with his brother in the shade of a tree on the savanna.

Enjoy the pictures!

 

 

With a little bit of luck :-)

I had a successful and enjoyable first game drive with the photography volunteer program group at Thanda.

We found two White Rhinos drinking at one of the dams, enjoyed various general game and a pair of Giraffes and rounded off the day with a sunset shoot at another waterhole.

Not bad for my first official game drive on the reserve 🙂