Monday, March 31, 2014

Plenty Lions




Today I wish to share a few photos "snapped" during the last tour - a kind of photo-update centering mainly on the lions we were privileged to encounter.



At first a couple of lionesses were visible in the grass . . .



. . . but instead of hunting, they moved with their youngsters to the (main) road.



This male lion wasn't part of the lion family (above) - instead he's a "resident" on a private game reserve near Mosselbay . . .



. . . where these 2 Waterbuck youngsters also are at home . . .



. . . as is the case with the "models" in this photo . . .




. . . and where another "resident" came to welcome me back to the luxury tent I occupied before :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

As Promised


As promised to some guests during my last tour - I'm posting photos today which were taken during our game drive in open safari vehicles in the Kruger National park.



Just as the photo above - another endearing mother-&-child moment.



What looks like long earrings are in fact (red-billed) oxpeckers assisting an impala with the grooming process.



A young warthog looking surprised??



And then there was the "find of the day" - a lazy cat on a branch right next to the road.



A look at it from the other side . . .




. . . before this deceptively docile leopard opened its eyes.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Candid Camera




Hello - what have we here?






"Here's looking at you," said the driver of the lorry - OR the baboon to the driver? 





"Boring business"




King of the Road




"Knock, knock" - an ox-pecker (bird) requesting entry (into a white rhino's ear).





"Hello - have we met before?"


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Framed


Sometimes certain settings appear to be "framed" - as dead branches seem to form a natural frame for this scene of vultures gathered around the remains of a kill . . .



. . . or these impala antelopes . . .



. . . also a male buffalo . . .



. . . as well as a Crowned hornbill . . .




. . . and this Cape eagle-owl  chick (1 of 2 in the Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden this year).



Looks as if this mother-baboon & her little one (at Cape Point/Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve) are stunned by this?? :)



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Natural Bouquets


At this time of the year nature is at its most extravagant in the southern hemisphere - as this magnificent floral arrangement of 1 of many pincushion protea displays . . .



. . . or these pelargornium with their array of colour . . .



. . . as well as these erica highlighted by the afternoon sun.

Adding a "neutral" colour are these sewe-jaartjies (immortelles = daisy family if looking like dried flowers) presently blooming amongst many other fynbos (the Cape Floral Kingdom).

As is often the case with regard to the ENORMOUS range of indigenous plants found in South Africa, I haven't been able so far to identify this interesting "bouquet", which looks like another species of immortelle I discovered growing amongst the sewe-jaartjies (see above) in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.

I'm not even sure if this is an indigenous flower (found it growing in the Storms River bridge area), but I believe it "deserves" to be included as another example of how nature "creates" its own bouquets.



Last but not least - another species of the pincushion protea family presently on natural display in the Cape Floral region.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fine Plumage


Although the weather was disappointingly "somber" during the last tour through our beautiful country, it didn't stop the birds from "coming out to play" & to reveal their fine plumage - like this Giant kingfisher . . .


. . . or this Burchell's coucal also known as the 'rainbird' because of its typically mellow hooting voice during or after rain.



A special treat was this preening Black-bellied korhaan . . .



. . . as was spotting this Orange-throated longclaw.


Always a favourite in the plumage "department" is this Greater Double-Collard sunbird . . .





. . . whereas the larger sized Helmeted guineafowl usually occur in flocks.


Although an Olive thrush is quite a common resident amongst the South African Birds, its plumage generally tends to be more dull than this specimen . . .


. . . and whereas the plumage of a Hartlaub's gull isn't as colourful as those of the ones above, this bird nonetheless is posing quite impressively.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hands-On


There is this cute little baboon in the Kruger National Park . . .


. . . which nibbled on a dry leaf whilst its mother was busy grooming the troop's alpha male . . .


. . . when it appeared as if the little one started to copy its mother's movements . . .


. . . before it moved up and over to have a closer look at what was going on.

In response the female turned to glance at the little intruder in a more proudly encouraging than disapproving way . . .

. . . because other than demonstrating that "hands-on" implies active participation in a direct and practical way, the female was probably aware that her little one would in future be regarded with reference by the male associating a feeling of well-being with their intimate interactions right then.

Clever trick OR natural selection??