Of all large antelopes at Thanda Waterbucks are the shyest. They are specialized to live in wet environments like marshes and they secret a greasy, smelly substance into their pelt to repel water. It smells so bad that even Oxpeckers will never sit on Waterbucks! The ointment also helps with their hooves. Unlike other hoofed animals they do not get foot rot when staying on very wet ground for a long time. Only the males have beautiful straight horns.
This is the second of the ten promised Zimanga photography blogs.
This Waterbuck image was taken with late afternoon light at the Lagoon Hide on Zimanga Private Game Reserve. The hide mostly attracts water birds … and some mammals 🙂 . The Lebombo mountains provide an excellent backdrop.
It is not always the Big Five which provide beautiful and special sightings. This Waterbuck bull was looking at us when we drove towards him on Ndlovu Highway. A rare treat.
We got many different antelope species on Thanda. Next to Waterbuck we have Impala, Wildebeest, Nyala, Kudu, Duiker, Steenbok and Reedbuck on the reserve.
… and a little special Waterbuck info: Waterbuck and Elephant are the only two large mammal species on Thanda which will not allow Oxpeckers to sit on them and feast on their ticks (see yesterday’s post: https://christiansperka.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/oxpeckers-and-buffalotail/)