My book is complete and has been returned to me by my Editor, Anneli. Her work has turned my words into a beautiful flowing, readable book that I am so in love with. She blogs (CLICK HERE TO SEE HER ONE BLOG) and (CLICK HERE TO SEE HER OTHER BLOG) when you read her stories you can see why I was enamoured by her offer to edit the book for me.
Yes there is a charge, but she has taken my words and turned them into a book, I just love her to bits… here’s and extract, hopefully to tickle your fancy…
47. Other Antelopes
Kudu, nyala, and reed buck are common antelopes of the Kruger National Park. They’re sometimes difficult to see, not because their numbers are few, but because their camouflage is so magnificent.
A sighting of these gives a different feeling of excitement.
The kudu is well known for its ability to stand still and peer at you. These are majestic antelopes with a grey colouring slightly striped, that enables them to stand, almost invisible, amid the brush they feed on. Their large ears look almost too big for their bodies. They will look towards a noise and stand dead still except for the moving ears, panning to pick up any other approaching sounds. This is their giveaway which helps in finding them, unless you’re lucky to arrive upon one feeding in clear view next to the road.
The kudu is a much-hunted antelope outside of the park, sought for its meat and the male for his horns. A pair of long twisting horns has an attraction for some to display as trophies on their walls. For me they seem much nicer on the head of a living animal, walking free in the park, but to each his own. My photographs, however, are better than a trophy on the wall.
The nyala, mistaken by many tourists for a kudu, is a smaller, slightly darker antelope, and has a different horn with the distinct appearance of wearing a different colour sock to the rest of its body. The male of the species is, like the kudu, the good looker, endowed with beautiful features; the female a brownish colour almost seeming to be from a different species.
On one occasion when entering the passage leading to Lake Panic bird hide, I spotted a magnificent male foraging in the riverine forest located next to the entrance. As tall as I am, I still had to stand on the tips of my toes to photograph the antelope. The gate opened and four good-looking girls, a lot younger than me entered.
“What can you see?” asked one in very broken English, obviously of Nordic origin. I informed them of the shy nyala near the fence.
Peering through the reed construction they spotted the antelope and excitedly the one told the others.
Wanting to appear the helpful and being of Africa, I said, “No, Nyala.”
“No, Kudu,” came the immediate response.
“No, Nyala,” I returned, hoping to help educate a foreign visitor with a certain beauty.
The emphatic reply came back, “No Kudu!”
Oh, well. So much for helping foreign relations. If they wanted to believe a rare sighting of a nyala, that of a kudu, should I bother? No, our age difference was too great for any further wasted charm.
The reed buck, smaller than the kudu and nyala, yet bigger than the common duiker and steenbok, are not nearly as shy as the other two. Common in the campsites and at the disembarking points of the park, these are not easily confused with other antelopes. Quiet and almost tame they will stand grazing on the lawn grasses next to your accommodation, unperturbed by your goings or comings. I think they’re tame. They realise if they live near the areas of human activity, they’re fairly safe from predators.
They’re safer, true, yet not from the visitors that find them between their accommodation and the ablutions.
“Look, impala!” I’ve heard, duiker, steenbok, and even springbok, bandied about, but having learned my lesson, I allow the expertise of others to believe they’re right. I’m no White Hunter of Africa.
These lesser numbered antelopes, when found, make any trip to the park complete.