ECTOTHERM MONDAY – African Giant Land Snail

Outside its native range it thrives in areas with mild climates. It can cause severe damage to agricultural crops and native plants. This snail is listed as one of the top invasive species in the world.

The African Giant Land Snail is also a simultaneous hermaphrodite (being male and female at the same time). Snails of similar size can transfer sperm both ways when mating (bilateral mating). If the the two mating partners are of different size then the larger specimen acts as female and the smaller as male (unilaterally mating).

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

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

Bird Wednesday – Tawny Eagle

A few days ago I took this picture of a *Tawny Eagle* perched in the late afternoon, backlight by the sun. Tawny Eagles (Aquila rapax) are large, long-lived birds of prey. Like all eagles, they belong to the family Accipitridae. It is estimated that these beautiful birds can reach the age of 16.

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

Imagine! Four nights at Thanda Safari – Day 2

Getting up at 5:30 is a bit hard if one is not used to it. But if the weather is good, the luck on one’s side, going on an early game drive is very rewarding.

Day 2 of our safari experience could be called the Elephant Day! We had two excellent sightings with two different herds. But many other species were seen as well!

Feel free to ask any questions (as comments) or contact me at christian@sperka.com.

Leaving the comfortable Tent at 5:30 is hard …
… but being rewarded with a White Rhino sighting after tracking them for a short while made it worth while.
A crash of Rhino in the morning light …
Encountering a female Cheetah hunting on the way to an Elephant sighting …
Smart phone distance!
A quick Kudu portrait photo shoot …
The first Elephant sighting of the day …
Giraffe and Oxpecker – a symbiotic relationship …
… same as for the Buffalo and Oxpecker.
There are no better Elephant sightings as when they are seen at a water hole.
A Scrub Hare sighting during the day is rather rare …
… and we ended the day as we followed two Lionesses on our way back to the Thanda Tented Camp
Picture of the day: Watching two small Elephants playing.

Major sightings:

⁃ Elephants

⁃ White Rhinos

⁃ Lionesses

⁃ Kudu

⁃ Cheetah female

⁃ Burchell’s Zebra

⁃ Red-billed Oxpecker

⁃ Scrub Hare

⁃ … and many more general game species and birds

This one of a series of posts to document all drives and excursions during a four day stay at Thanda Safari. I hosted two guests from Germany on a Private Photo Safari with me as the guide, Bheki as the tracker and the Green Mamba 1 as the Luxury Safari Vehicle.

See also the day 1 blog:

https://sperka.info/2019/09/11/imagine-four-nights-custom-luxury-safari-at-thanda-safari-day-1/

Imagine! Four nights Custom Luxury Safari at Thanda Safari – Day 1

This is the start of a series of posts to document all drives and excursions during a four day stay at Thanda Safari. I hosted two guests from Germany on a Private Photo Safari with me as the guide, Bheki as the tracker and the Green Mamba 1 as the Luxury Safari Vehicle. The next five posts are a visual record of the great sightings and interesting experiences the guests had during their stay.

Feel free to ask any questions (as comments) or contact me at christian@sperka.com.

Enjoy the images!

Day 1 – Arrival and Frist Game Drive

The Green Mamba 1 – ready for work …
A young Kudu bull – the first sighting …
Lions on a Wildebeest kill – very exciting for a first safari …
Patience – A White-backed Vulture is waiting for the left overs …
As the sun sets an Elephant bull appears – magical …
Impressive – One of the two largest bulls on Thanda Safari …
Red Wine and G&T – The perfect drink stop just after sunset …
The Zulu Mamas were entertaining the guests at the Tented Camp – what a surprise …
Picture of the day – A Lioness just after she had her supper …

Major sightings:

⁃ Kudu

⁃ Lion (on a kill)

⁃ Elephant

⁃ Vultures

⁃ … and many more general game species and birds

A GOPRO INSIDE A LIONS MOUTH!

Hard to belief but my GoPro survived a Lion attack!

Yesterday at Thanda Safari we released two male Lions onto the reserve.

As always I was ready to take picture of the whole procedure.

I had also mounted my GoPro with velcro on top of a plastic box to set it up opposite the boma gate where the Lions would step out into freedom.

This is the most amazing GoPro video and audio footage of one of the two Lions taking my GoPro into his mouth, chewing on it and then demolishing the attached plastic box.

The GoPro survived the ordeal, the plastic box was not so lucky.

And I got the most amazing footage from INSIDE A LIONS MOUTH!

I have added my video frame screen shots at the end of video clip as these amazing images ‘fly by’ rather fast in the video itself.

Please share the story if you find it as incredible as I do. Thanks

#lion #lionmouth #liongopro #gopro #goprolion #amazinggoprostories

📷 #christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

#thandasafari @thandasafari

INKANYISO CRÈCHE

It has been a while since I reported on my blog and social media channels about the INKANYISO crèche in rural Zululand to which many of my friends around the word have contributed so generously (donation funds).

I visited the crèche today.

The teacher and the kids were not at the crèche as they are currently on school holidays.

As always, a few kids from the neighborhood swarmed in as soon as I flew my drone. They love the little flying machine. I have to take off and land at least five times before they are satisfied with the performance.

The fence is now finished and is looking very good. Thanks to Thanda Safari for all the fence materials. From my donation funds I was able to pay for the gates and for the required labour.

I also delivered and installed a new wall mounted white board, small white boards and pens for the children, some educational posters and new brooms to keep the place tidy (all of this was also paid using some of the donation funds).

We are currently getting quotes for roof gutters to capture rain water for the crèche. I will also get two chains and locks for the gates and I will order some colorful Inkanyiso Crèche signs. I have still some donation fund money left to help with these expenses.

And I have still a few more projects in mind to help the crèche 🙂

This is a list of some of the items:

– A Jungle Gym

– Daily meal (breakfast) allowances for the kids

– Small sound system (battery operated with solar charger) to play music

– Teacher’s table and shelves for the staff room

– Teaching materials (on-going)

– Rails to hang up paper/maps

– Floor files

I will visit again as soon as the school term has started and deliver some presents which I got from one of my recent guests at Thanda (for kids and the teacher).

Thanks to so many of you who contributed to the project and thank to Thanda Management and Sbu Mlambo (Thanda Community Liaison Officer) for all the support.

I will keep you updated about the progress!

DONATIONS WELCOME …

Many of my friends around the world have already helped with donations of useful materials and with money donations to buy various things. Thanks a lot.

If any of you – wherever you live in the world – would also like to help with a donation then please contact me at christian@sperka.com or via WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. I have bank accounts in Europe, USA and South Africa and I also have a PayPal account. So transferring any funds would be simple and would not cost a lot. Even the smallest contribution will be very much appreciated.

Be assured that 100% of whatever is donated will be used to pay for crèche projects.

Imagine …

Imagine …

… you left your office for a short drive in nature

Imagine …

… you spend a warm summer evening on an open savanna

Imagine …

… a lite drizzle of rain and strong winds cool you down

and imagine …

… you watch a beautiful male Lion drinking, observing his surroundings and sleeping

Well, if you can imagine that then you shared one of my evenings this week 😊

Have a good weekend!

#Thandasafari @thandasafari #christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography