Springbok BBQ … A different slant on a BBQ.

Unusual springbok behaviour.

We were privileged to have our son take us to “Witsand” in the Northern Cape. This is an exceptional eco-destination featuring geological and climatic anomalies that cause the desert sand to ‘roar’. This natural attraction is one of the Kalahari’s best-kept secrets.

The birding here is exceptional, and you’ll see plenty of dry land wildlife, enabling to make some great photographic captures. BUT, that is only if you ensure you take a camera with charged batteries and the two sets in the bag are also charged. Hell, make sure your video camera’s batteries are charged. I DIDN”T——

This is a fascinating place and well worth the 70 km. dirt road trip that tends to test the springs of any LDV. We had, what I’d call luxurious accommodation, (here’s a photo from before the batteries conked.)


The bush surrounding the accommodation nice and thick, giving a total feeling of isolation. (Wonderful)


and then at night we had the privilege of witnessing and even capturing it on camera a springbok enjoying the remnants of our braai or BBQ… here is a video of that…


and then to have one come and eat charcoal from a hot braai place and chew it, just unbelievable… I have never witnessed this before, or for that matter heard of anyone else that has… a definite first for me… here’s a vid of it… and remember this is not a zoomed shot… the animal was no more than 6 feet away from me and Linda and for that matter totally ignored us when we spoke….



62 thoughts on “Springbok BBQ … A different slant on a BBQ.

  1. What a capture! By the way, I left my charger behind twice, on a trip to Colorado and once in Hawaii, and had to pay to charge my battery in a photo shop in town because I couldn’t bear to miss any shots while I was there and the shop didn’t carry my kind of battery. Now I carry an extra battery in my camera case. It didn’t stop you from taking some spectacular photos!

  2. I’m sure you were very frustrated with having lost your battery life, but you did capture some incredible video. I don’t know that I understand the charcoal eating, but there must have been remnants of meat on it? Whatever the motivation, it had to be incredible to see firsthand. I love the remoteness of your stay and I’m sure the stress just falls away in a place this naturally gorgeous!

  3. OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!
    What an INCREDIBLE experience!! In the second video, I laughed at the same exact moment that Linda did!
    Why in the world would they eat hot charcoal embers????????????
    So sorry to hear about the batteries…been there, done that…FRUSTRATING!!
    You did get some wonderful shots..love the accommodations….and the birds and the..EVERYTHING!!

    • One of those moments that will be spoken about around a camp fire till the day I die… Linda laughing had me thinking it would now take to the bush, in the end we had three doing this (of course the battery was now totally dead) one standing almost right next to me… Linda and I started to talk and they just ignored us completely…
      I can only think they need the charcoal as a counter to a toxic intake from a bush or grass or the like… the ash is may be a form of nutrient intake… but this is just the problem I can’t find anyone to give me an answer… a lot of speculation, but no definite answer… so wow we were lucky… what, with Linda trying to get the Genet cats to take food from her hand, springbok chewing charcoal next to me it was a wonderful evening in the bush and a great respite from all the work… Son booked us in spent one night with us then left Linda and I alone for the second night… man we enjoyed it…

      • What a dream! Just wonderful 🙂 Such a privilege to enjoy something so….I can’t even find a word for it…They obviously could sense that you posed no threat…just…awesome, fantastic, stupendous, spiritual, like something out of a mystical story…So glad it happened to you!

    • I know charcoal is very good for counteracting against toxic intake… I can only think that they know this… on my walks I did come across wild tulips which are highly dangerous if eaten by cattle, don’t know about wild animals, but I think you can see where I’m going… I am not all experienced in the plants of the Kalahari but undoubtedly there must be toxic plants and elements in their diet and they seek out the embers for that purpose… at present that is the best answer I can get from all my “expert” contacts… most wish they had witnessed it themselves as the embers were too hot for me to lift yet they crunched on them, so the heat must also have something to do with it… if it wasn’t I would expect such animals to wait till we have moved off before moving in… these were prepared to come close while we sat to get exactly what they knew they wanted… and for that I thank the Lord for giving Linda and I the chance to witness a very rarely witnessed phenomenon… in fact I still have not found anyone else that has witnessed it…

    • I had steaks, chicken wings and sausage… now that, the springbok would not share but the Genet cats did… made sure I ate my full before Linda fed it all to the Genets…

    • At one stage there were three at the braai area.. Linda and I talked and they ignored us… the Genet cats came in for food and that seemed not to worry them… one stood within my reach and licked in the ash… a truly privileged experience…

    • It is a place we will return to in the very near future… the bird life s amazing and having gone there with flat batteries I need to return just to capture them,… but the water table is very shallow there so lightening strikes in the sand are common.. from this one gets the most fascinating shapes from the melted silica, need to get some of those on camera as well….

    • Thanks Ingrid.. and here I thought they would fear the fire, but no they were not the least bit frightened, hell they even eat embers that are too hot for me to pick up… it is a wonderful place and I could picture you here I think you’d love this desert with its roaring sands and fulgurites (shafts of fused silica varying in shape and size, which are created by lightning strikes into the sand…)

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