IT NEVER GETS OLD

I love sunrises like this morning in the African bush. It never gets old. This picture was taken at Mgankla Dam at Thanda Safari.

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT FOR VAMPIRES

A large group of Red-billed Oxpeckers was taking a ride on the two Giraffes. Normally these small birds live in a symbiotic relationship with the long-necked mammals. The Giraffes provide the food in the form of ticks and the Oxpeckers relief them of the little pests.

But occasionally the insect-eaters turn into vampires. If the Giraffes have an open wound the Oxpeckers will keep pecking on it to keep it open end to keep the blood flowing as they love devouring blood (usually provided by the ‘filled up ticks’).

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FOLLOWING THE LADY

Once male Lions find a female in estrous they are very persistent. And even after they mated for a few days our two males were trailing the lady for quite a while!

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Birding Weekend

We had a very successful birding (bird ringing) weekend at Thanda Safari. I enjoyed taking lots of pictures and I had fun hosting our guests.

These are a few images from the event. James and Lara ringed 145 birds (45 different species).

I am already looking forward to the next birding weekend!

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Heavy Breathing!

Heavy breathers 😊 Thanda Safari’s male Lions (coalition) were strolling past the Green Mamba this afternoon, breathing rather heavily. The ultra-wide-angle lens of my new iPhone Pro Max captures the scene very nicely 🦁

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THANDA SAFARI WILDLIFE AND PHOTOGRAPHY WEEKEND

I thought some of you might be interested in the upcoming wildlife and photography weekend on Thanda Safari.

I will be around all weekend to help with camera setups, answer questions and – if requested – critique pictures.

Lorraine Doyle (Wildlife Manager) and I will give short talks about the supporting role of photography in wildlife conservation.

We will also have a ‘best photo of the weekend’ competition.

And Vincent Hindson, Thanda Safari field guide and expert photographer, will join me to support our photographer-guests.

For more info or bookings please contact reservations@thanda.co.za or call +27325860149.

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Night View

A beautiful night view of one of Thanda Safari’s water holes.

With the incredible rains in this season all our dams and pans are full and currently there is water in puddles all over the reserve. Together with the lush vegetation this provides ideal conditions for all fauna to flourish.

This picture was taken last night after the sun had set with my new iPhone 12 Pro Max!

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Let’s talk about big cats – the honorary members!

Beside the five official members of the genus Panthera (Tiger, Lion, Jaguar, Leopard and Snow Leopard) there are five more cat species which do not quite fit into the ‘small cat definition’ as they are rather large and/or have very special features.

I will introduce these over the next few days. Let’s start today with the fastest land animal: The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus).

It is the only cat fully adapted for speed instead of power. It cannot roar and misses other big car traits. It is therefore classified in its own genus. I took this Cheetah portrait a few years ago at Thanda Safari.

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