As the course continues to improve and the rains (when they come) aids the fairways growth, the golf course becomes more and more of a dream come true.
As the photo from the first tee shows the first fairway.
The course wants to welcome all the permanent new arrivals, oh how happy these animals make me…
The sable are young yet already they show the deep chested pride they’re well known for..
I am to stay on at the course and will now be in a position to blog more, to share my golf course with you all. I’m sure that you know it is not really my course and belongs in its entirety to the owner of the Akabeko Boutique Hotel, but my design and build, tweaked to his satisfaction, still feels as though its mine…
This has been and will always be the most desired “bucket list” happening in my life.
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….
It seems so long since I was able to get on-board here. Been busy at Wingate and Sishen Golf Club with their OH and Safety induction. What a wonderful experience to be back up early everyday preparing for work before sun up….
We had a weekend off last and my son took us to Witsand, a place we had as yet not been to, this is what they say about it on a website…
“Witsand Nature Reserve in the Northern Cape is an exceptional eco-destination featuring geological and climatic anomalies that cause the desert sand to ‘roar’. This natural attraction is one of the Green Kalahari’s best-kept secrets. The birding here is exceptional, and you’ll see plenty of dry land wildlife.”
You have to know we went there full of excitement and I made the cardinal sin a photographer can make… I went with low batteries, no backup charged ones and of course forgot the charger at home. My video camera had just enough for me to capture something Linda and I would not have believed if we did not experience it….
It happened whilst sitting at the camp fire latish in the evening, having eaten well and just enjoying the noises of the bush, also feeding the genet cat that came to visit. Three springbok came up to the fire to visit with us. Linda and I kept quiet at first and stared in disbelief. ANIMALS ARE SCARED OF FIRE my brain screamed.
One started to lick on the braai grid that was cool, then came and started to lick in the ash of the fire. “THE FIRE IS HOT” I screamed under my breathe…. these springbok actually started to seek out pieces of charcoal that were not still glowing red, but warm and ate them.
This all happened within two to three metres of us and when we started to talk to each other in disbelief they carried on totally ignoring us…. I captured this on video and when back in civilisation I will download it to “youtube” and add a link for you to see…. here are a few photos first from Witsand and then a few from yesterday which I had a chance to get out and capture…
We leave tomorrow for Pretoria for a short while (a week) and then on the road again… but this will give me a chance to catch up a bit with you all… look forward to that… and to the odd blog I’m going to be able to post…
The springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) is a medium-sized brown and white antelope. It is extremely fast and can reach speeds of 100 km/h (62 mph) and can leap 4 m (13 feet) through the air. The common name "springbok" comes from the Afrikaans and Dutch words spring = jump and bok = goat.
So we have a fast moving, high jumping springing goat….. But what I saw at an outing with my SiL was for me a first….
Their colouring consists of a pattern of white, reddish/tan and dark brown. Their backs are tan-coloured and they are white beneath, with a dark brown stripe extending along each side from the shoulder to inside the thigh. The face is white in adults, with a dark patch on the forehead, and a stripe running from just above the eyes to the corner of the mouth……
There are three variations in the colour of springbok pelage. In addition to the normal-coloured springboks there are also black and white morphs. Although born jet black, adult "black" springboks primarily have two shades of chocolate-brown and a white marking on the face…..
The springbok was a national symbol of South Africa under white minority rule (including a significant period prior to the establishment of apartheid). It was adopted as a nickname or mascot by a number of South African sports teams, most famously by the national rugby team. It appeared on the emblems of the South African Air Force, the logo of South African Airways (for which it remains their radio call sign) and It also featured as the logo of ‘South Africa’s Own Car’, the Ranger, in the early 1970s.
After the demise of apartheid, the African National Congress government decreed that South African sporting teams were to be known as the Proteas after the national flower of South Africa. ..
During the Second Boer War, a Boer force attempting to sneak up on the Royal Canadian Dragoons was defeated after their movements startled the nearby springbok, thus alerting the Canadian sentries, which is why the Dragoons have the springbok as their cap badge and as their mascot…..
Continuing on from yesterdays post.. some adults.. also all taken in the Kalagadi Gemsbok Park.. a place everyone should visit if they can…
Above, the female, apart from the obvious udder look at her horns much thinner than the male below;
Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) or Springing Goat..
This antelope has a special meaning to most South Africans.. it used to be the emblem worn by all our sportsmen and women…
An antelope that can reach speeds of 100 km/h (62 mph), leap 4 m (13 feet) into the air and jump a distance of up to 15 m (50 feet) has to be what our sports people are all about..
It stands about 70 to 90 cm (28 to 35 in) high. Springbok males weigh between 32 and 48 kg (71 and 110 lb.) and the females between 25 and 35 kg (55 and 77 lb.). Not that big an antelope..
When the male springbok is showing off his strength or to attract a female, or maybe to ward off predators, he starts off in a stiff-legged trot, jumping up into the air with an arched back every few paces and lifting the flap along his back. Lifting the flap causes the long white hairs under the tail to stand up in a fan shape, which in turn emits a strong scent of sweat. This ritual is known as stotting or pronking from Afrikaans meaning to boast or show off.
Rams are slightly larger than ewes, and have thicker horns; the ewes tend to have skinnier legs and longer, more frail horns.
When feeding the ewes will sometimes leave the young in a crèche.. It was while shooting one such crèche, that I noticed how long the ears are of a springbok really are.. once the horns grow it seems to be less obvious… shame, talk about “Big ears” and “Noddy”, he had nothing on these little buck…
Springbok [Antidorcas marsupialis]
The national rugby team of South Africa is still known as the Springboks.
Springbok in their hundreds of thousands roamed the arid regions of southern Africa at the time the first settlers arrived, but the herds were quickly decimated. The Springbok is the most abundant antelope in the central and western parts of South Africa. Some herds are still free roaming within some of its natural range, but most are now confined to farmlands and reserves.
Rams may weigh up to 50 Kg, and ewes only up to 37 Kg. Their striking body colour renders them easily recognizable. Shoulders appear lower than the hindquarters. Cinnamon coloured upper body, white under parts and a broad dark brown stripe on either flank stretching from the front legs to the rear legs. The short white tail is brown tufted. The rump is marked by a triangular-shaped white patch, framed by a dark brown stripe with the apex on the top of the hindquarters. Horns of ewes are more slender and shorter than those of rams.
Only rams establish territories for mating opportunities. The exception is territorial rams, which prefer to live in the solitude of their territories. Herd composition is flexible.