A few more photos from our trip…

Does sunset not supply the most beautiful colours for photography…

The Kalahari Tented camp we stayed in… no fences so any animal can get up close… had the brown hyena calling outside the tent, I looked for the witches but saw none…

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These wildebeest past within touching distance, but look at the colour after sun set…

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The Giraffe are always entertaining as the bend to drink…

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This was the view we had of the nearby water hole… no need to drive around, the game comes to visit you…

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and one more of the entertainer… the “Rooi-muishond” Literal translation “Red Mouse Dog” but actually known as the “Slender Mongoose”

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Till we meet again, go well… will do my best to get on the air as and when I can…

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African Wild Dog

(Lycaon pictus) the African wild dog.

It is also known as, African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog, painted dog, painted wolf, painted hunting dog, spotted dog, or ornate wolf.

This is the largest African canid and, behind only the grey wolf, is the world’s second largest extant wild canid. Adults typically weigh 18–36 kilograms (40–79 lb.). A tall, lean animal, it stands about 75 cm (30 in) at the shoulder, with a head and body length of 75–141 cm (30–56 in) plus a tail of 30 to 45 cm (12 to 18 in).

The African wild dog may reproduce at any time of year, although mating peaks between March and June during the second half of the rainy season. Litters can contain 2-19 pups, though 10 is the most common. Weaning takes place at about 10 weeks. After 3 months, the pups leave the den and begin to run with the pack.

Females will disperse from their birth pack at 14–30 months of age and join other packs that lack sexually mature females. Males typically do not leave the pack in which they were born.

In a typical pack, males outnumber females by a factor of two to one, and only the dominant female can usually rear pups. This situation may have evolved to ensure that packs do not over-extend themselves by attempting to rear too many litters at the same time. The species is also unusual in that some members of the pack, including males, may be left to guard the pups while the others, including the mothers, join the hunting group.

The African wild dog hunts in packs and small groups. Like most members of the dog family, it is a running hunter, meaning that it pursues its prey in a long, open chase. Nearly 80% of all wild dog hunts end in a kill; for comparison, the success rate of lions, often viewed as ultimate predators, is only 30%.

After a successful hunt, the hunters will regurgitate meat for those that remained at the den during the hunt including the dominant female, the pups, the sick or injured, the old and infirm, and those who stayed back to guard the pups.

There were once approximately 500,000 African wild dogs in 39 countries, and packs of 100 or more were not uncommon. Now there are only about 3,000-5,500 in fewer than 25 countries. They have been decimated by stock farmers who believe they are vermin. In South Africa very few are found outside of protected areas…

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Gemsbok.. of the Kalahari.

Gemsbok (Oryx gazella)

A large antelope with striking black and white markings on the face and legs, black side stripes on the flanks and a long black tail. Bulls measure 1.2m at the shoulders and attain a mass of 240 Kg. Both bulls and cows have horns. The male horns are shorter and stockier than the female horns.

Gemsbok mostly feed on nutritious leaves, grasses and herbs. During the dry season they feed on flowers and will also browse for food. To supplement water requirements gemsbok dig for succulents and extensively eat tsama melons.

The behaviour of this species is geared to energy and water conservation. In the heat of the day they will lie-up in the shades of trees. Where shade is not available they will orientate themselves to present as little as possible of their body surface to the sun. Lone bulls are common and have been known to kill attacking lions by impaling them with their strong horns.

This like the cape buffalo is a tenacious animal… and have been known to attack predators that prey on their young, as demonstrated in this video clip, don’t give up on the clip, the young survives… here’s some photos of them in the Kalahari desert…

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Grey Heron, Lake Panic, Kruger National Park.

The Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea),

This a wading bird of the heron family. I took these photos at Lake Panic in the Kruger National Park.

It’s native throughout temperate Europe and Asia and also parts of Africa. It is resident in the milder south and west, but many birds retreat in winter from the ice in colder regions. It has become common in summer even inside the Arctic circle along the Norwegian coast.

Adults have a white head with a broad black supercilium and slender crest, while immature birds have a dull grey head. It has a powerful, pinkish-yellow bill, which is brighter in breeding adults. It has a slow flight, with its long neck retracted (S-shaped). This is characteristic of herons and bitterns, and distinguishes them from storks, cranes and spoonbills, which extend their necks. The call is a loud croaking “fraaank”.

This species breeds in colonies in trees close to lakes, the seashore or other wetlands, although it will also nest in reed beds. At Lake Panic there is one nesting in a tree direct across from the Bird hide…

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This one is catching a ride on a Hippo’s back…                                             I wonder if this one knows the crocodile is there, I didn’t till I looked at my photo..

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Red-billed Buffalo Weaver.

The Red-billed Buffalo Weaver (Bubalornis niger).

Now this is an interesting bird, found mainly in the more arid areas, it builds communal nests made of thorn type sticks.

Its easily identified by its plumage. The black (male) or brownish black (female) and red-orange bill, with white wing patches.

Its nests are conspicuous, untidy masses in trees, these I captured on the golf course in Kathu, the Sishen Golf course. I will be posting on this golf course some time on my other blog, a lovely course with plenty of small animals and bird life on it.

The nests are often raided by snakes and the birds try to camouflage the nest entrances…

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The African Mongoose searching for his team….

The mongoose is busy looking for his team ready to deploy to the assistance of another blogger… they are expert body guards … taking on even the deadliest of snakes… they only receive payment in chocolate for their services… will be being deployed soon…

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thoughts

Transport …. practicing, if they have to land in water… all situations accounted for…

A Setting Sun Eye and Behind a Rising Moon…

I’m standing to catch the setting sun that shines an eye in my room at this time of the year, and I turn around and find the Moon creeping up on me…

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