For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tour and travelogue to KNP Game Reserve S Africa - Part 2

We rise early in time to have our coffee and cookies while watching the sun come up over the low hills. The colors of dawn are always beautiful there especially in winter when it reflects on the mist and the sprayer in the foreground.
Before long, things start taking shape and become visible.
On the sandbank in front of our cottage a mother hippo urges her tiny baby to move into the water for protection. The calf weighs about 30kg (15 lbs) when born and is capable of swimming minutes after birth.
There are some beautiful trees in the camp like this Cluster Fig which has a huge stem……..
…and the Coral Tree which is always the first to bloom at the beginning of warmer weather.
We head out and see the Vultures still sitting on the ground waiting for the warm thermal which enable them to fly up.
In the centre of a small watering hole, two lazy hippo do not stir as the cars go by.
And on the other side of it, Impala have a drink before it gets hotter and the sun forces them to spend more time in the shade.
A young Saddlebill Stork begs food from it’s parent by going on it’s knees and following it around.
Young Elephants stay close to mother’s side in case of danger.
Buffalo stir themselves to come down to the water to drink too. When it is very hot, they spend hours laying in the water in order to keep themselves cool.
A Ground Hornbill is looking for food. It is about the size of a turkey and the largest of the 5 species found in the park. They love eating snakes and rodents and I have even seen them tackle a tortoise with that long beak.
Some young waterbuck lay in the shade. They have extremely thick haired and are always found close to water. They are easily distinguished by the white ring around their rumps. A large buck, almost the size of a 3 year old horse.
Back at camp for lunch, I take some photographs of the wild flowers in the garden….
…and a dove sitting on a high Aloe.
This is another type of wild fig and is also edible to humans and birds. These trees only grow near water so many mammals dig near the roots to find it.

1 comment:

Rhodesia said...

Thanks for the tour, I felt I was really with you and thoroughly enjoyed it. A few minutes of Africa this morning has certainly raised my spirits. Have a great day Diane