He hates ducks …

As I was preparing the Green Mamba 1 (my special luxury & photography game drive vehicle – http://www.sperka.info/gm) I heard loud trumpeting from the Thanda House waterhole. I grabbed a camera, jumped into the vehicle  and drove to the dam.

A young Elephant bull was busy chasing a bunch of Whistling White-faced Ducks around. He trumpeted very loudly whenever ducks got in his way. He obviously hates ducks! What a show …

What a sight – the Thanda House Dam is full!
The Thanda House Dam and Thanda House – I can see the water from my office window!

After the recent rains the Thanda House dam is full. The Elephants love this deep water hole for bathing and drinking.

A bath, a drink, a mud-bath and a good dusting with sand!
The reason for the loud trumpeting – Whistling White-faced Ducks

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Well the correct answer is that adult female Elephants have more angular foreheads than adult males. The young female in my last post shows this feature unusually clear for her age 🙂 – see https://sperka.info/2016/12/02/boy-or-girl/

Today’s picture shows an young adult male and a female. Observe the difference!

Have a good start into the new week!


For the Elephant lovers among you!

I have just uploaded 159 African Elephant images taken between 2002 and 2016. Have a look at www.sperka.biz/sg10

This is another new species gallery available online at http://www.sperka.biz/sg

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Please contact me at info@sperka.com in case you are interested in publishing any of these images or if you would like to license any image for printing (for personal or commercial use).

Vigilant ‘house cats’, the neighbours’ kits at play and an excited gentleman in front of the house!

Well, this title might be a bit misleading 🙂

When I left Thanda House this afternoon for a quick visit to friends on a neighbouring reserve, I left Thanda’s two Cheetah boys in charge of perimeter security around Thanda House.20150710 - CS3_6787 - C

As I drove onto the reserve where my friends live, I took pictures of two little White Rhinos at play. 20150710 - CS3_6864 - C

And when I got back to Thanda a young Elephant bull gave me a rather excited welcome. From the way he reacted to my vehicle, looking at the glands on his forehead and judging from other obvious signs of excitement :-), he may be getting into musth.20150710 - CS3_6794 - C

Not the regular house cats, not the average kits at play and a rather unusual excited gentleman in front of the house, but another really good afternoon in the African bush!

That’s it! – Fourteen for the Villa! (14)

I have selected fourteen images which are now hanging in two of the suites at Thanda’s Villa iZulu. These are some of my favorite images and I have prepared them in sepia to match the existing old-fashioned frames. This is the last of these images. I have also included a gallery with all fourteen pictures below. Enjoy them!

Number fourteen – The End :-): Thanda’s Dominant Male Lion

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PS: If you stay at Thanda’s Villa iZulu in the suites number 2 or 3 you can view them in the original print.


Dancing Elephant ?!

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Not really 🙂 This young Thanda Elephant bull was changing direction rather quickly as he was chasing some Cape Buffalo. One of my favorite Elephant shots ever! The Thanda guests enjoyed the very active scene. Elephants chasing Buffalo and Buffalo chasing Elephants.

Ellis and Hippos :-)

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Today I went the first time on a Lake Jozini morning cruise. This large lake is located in Northern KwaZulu Natal, between Mkuze and Pongola, along the N2.

Despite the overcast weather I got some great Elephant and Hippos shots.

This picture shows a large herd of Elephants (over sixty individuals) coming for a “lake-side” morning drink stop. We spend almost one hour observing the Elli family life.

After we left the Elephants we saw a herd of Cape Buffalo on the opposite side of the lake and we observed Nile Crocodile, Common Reedbuck, Juvenile African Fish Eagle, White-faced Whistling Duck, African Javana, Spur-winged Goose, Egyptian Goose, Grey Heron, Secretary Bird, Western Great Egret, Marabou Stork, African Jacana, African Spoonbill, Red-billed Oxpecker and a few pods of Hippo.

The second image shows one of the Hippos “mock-charging” our boat. This female let us know that she wanted us keep our distance, which we did 🙂

What a day!

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A Rainbow over the Lebombo Mountains, a Road Block and two Freezing Cheetah!

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As it happens during this time of the year strong winds frequently follow heavy rains. On our afternoon game drive we first encountered a beautiful rainbow over the Lebombo mountains, then we met with Thanda’s breeding herd of Elephants.

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One of our largest bulls gave an excellent demonstration on “how to create a perfect road block”, right in front of the vehicle.

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Last but not least Bheki – one of Thanda’s most experienced Zulu tracker – found the two Cheetah brothers on the open savannah. They were huddling together in the freezing wind.

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Not a bad drive for a very windy day!