Satara Summer 2021 – Drama in the Olifants

Early into our recent visit to the Kruger National Park we were parked on the high bridge crossing the Olifants River, stretching our legs and admiring the views upstream and downstream.

At one point we peeked over the railings and noticed a Little Swift splashing in the murky, fast flowing water below. The Swifts breed beneath the bridge, and this one must have miscalculated a dive, ending up in the water. It seems such aeronautical miscalculations are relatively common with this species as we’ve found them marooned on the ground on more than one occasion – their short legs and long wings make it very hard for them to get airborne again.

We watched as the water quickly swept the little bird along. We could only hope that it was swept onto a sandbank before it became a snack for a crocodile, tigerfish, catfish or fish eagle, and that it would somehow manage to get back into the air.


10 thoughts on “Satara Summer 2021 – Drama in the Olifants

  1. photobyjohnbo

    Birds are so graceful in the air, we forget that many species have difficulty getting airborne. My favorite to watch, though, is the gooney bird. Their landings are so awful, they make me laugh. 🙂



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