Tag Archives: nature

Hell hath no fury like a female Baboon!

While driving slowly back to Satara Rest Camp along the S100 one evening, we came across a mixed group of Impalas and Baboons peacefully whiling away the final minutes of sunlight at Shibotwana waterhole. It is then that we noticed a Black-backed Jackal moving through the group, obviously looking for an easy meal. The Jackal spied a young Baboon and gave it a little more attention than the Baboon wanted; it shrieked and set off running towards its mother and then things took a very quick turn for the worse for the Jackal, who managed to escape a serious hiding by the skin of his teeth!

When an elephant won’t let go…

One of the most touching sightings of our recent Satara Summer in the Kruger National Park was of an elephant bull trapped in a shallow pan (waterhole) and unable to get out. Just how the bull ended up in this predicament was unclear as we arrived on the scene too late to know – perhaps it was simply something as benign as taking a mud bath gone wrong, or perhaps something as violent as a debilitating blow received in a fight for dominance. However it may have occurred, we spent several hours in the exceptional heat wishing him on every time he tried lifting his massive bulk out of the mud, watching with lumps in our throats as other elephant bulls, obviously distressed, tried to help and failed, how they had to give up on their valiant attempts, extending trunks towards their comrade as if in a final greeting. Eventually the hopelessness of his situation became too much to bear for us too and with every pause in his feeble movements we hoped that he has finally breathed his last, only to see the tip of his trunk being raised limply above the waterline once again, over and over. Why won’t he just let go..?

Dusk settled over the plains and we had to leave to get back to Satara in the knowledge that he was unlikely to see the sun rise tomorrow. Difficult as it was to watch, we realise that tragedies like this have played out in the wilderness for millennia, nature taking its course without human interference, as it should and will continue to do in places like the Kruger National Park, and whether we were there to witness it or not made no difference to the outcome.

 

Front row seats for an epic battle!

One of the most exciting sightings (and we had many!) of our Satara Summer was this epic battle between two big Kudu bulls, encountered near the Kruger National Park‘s Nhlanguleni picnic site. At times the fight was so heated that we were sure one of them was going to break the other’s neck or stab a hole straight through his adversary. After several minutes the fight ended abruptly when they found themselves in thicker vegetation and one of the combatants threw in the towel.

Heron who catch dragonfly with bill accomplish anything…

This sighting of a Green-backed Heron catching dragonflies in a small stream near Satara in the Kruger National Park reminded me of the “Karate Kid” scene where Mr. Miyagi tries catching flies with his chopsticks…

My Mom is stronger than you!

While out driving one rainy afternoon near Satara in the Kruger National Park, we came upon a lonely and obviously terrified lion cub, running in the road and trying to hide in roadside bushes, all the while calling for his pride. We were still feeling sorry for the little one when suddenly his demeanor changed totally – he picked himself up and confidently started running past our car. It is then that we noticed his mother standing, and looking quite intimidating, behind the assembled vehicles, ready to attack anyone or anything that threatens her little one. When he reached her they both gave the human spectators a parting glance, joined the rest of the pride and confidently walked off into the bush. The encounter made a wonderful impression on all of us.

Spying on the neighbours at Satara

We have a very basic trail camera that we set up for a few days along a quiet portion of the fenceline at Satara Rest Camp in the Kruger National Park, while we were visiting there over Christmas and New Year. It was quite fun flicking through the photos every day and seeing the variety of wildlife that come so close to camp, especially at night!

Still dreaming about our Satara Summer

It’s really hard to believe that we’ve been home from the Kruger National Park for a week already. We’re still trying to adjust back to city life, would you believe!? Were still pining for Satara, our tent, our camping beds and almost daily braais (traditional South African barbeques)… So we’re going over our notes and imagining the 46 kinds of mammals, 195 kinds of birds, and myriad of insects, butterflies, scorpions, spiders, amphibians and reptiles we crossed paths with while camping at Satara for a month.

While we were on holiday many of you enquired after Joubert’s pictures of the trip, so here for your enjoyment and to ease our blues is a selection of his best photographs!