Readers’ wildlife photos

Like the “photos of readers” section, new submissions here are scant, so please send in your good wildlife photos lest the feature disappear.

Today’s contributions come from reader “sherfolder,” who sent an installment of five sets from South Africa. Today is the first.  Sherfolder’s comments and IDs are indented.

At the beginning of March, I was on a two-week round trip in South Africa and was lucky that the trip could be carried out as it was planned  (on the day of our departure the government imposed an entry ban due to the corona pandemic).

From Cape Town via the Garden Route and via Johannesburg we also visited the Kruger National Park and a few days later the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, the latter being the second oldest national park worldwide after Yellowstone.

In March the autumn season starts in South Africa but the vegetation is still very green and many plants are in bloom and of intense colours. The first animal that crossed the path early in the morning at 6:30 am was a spotted hyena. They were followed by giraffes, elephants, zebras, water buffaloes and hippos lying in waterholes, langurs, many many  impalas along the way, and, as a highlight, a young lioness.

 

 

16 Comments

  1. Debra Coplan
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    It looks like an amazing place. I love that lioness. Great captures!

    • Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Yeah, it was actually an amazing place. What I particularly liked about Kruger Park is that unlike, for example, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa, you have dense bush land to the right and left of the path. Mostly you cannot see large areas and see herds of animals in the distance, but instead you have to be prepared to see an animal behind every bend in the path. Behind every bush, suddenly an elephant, a giraffe, a hyena can be discovered. I really liked this landscape of small woods, of bush savannah.
      The pictures of the lioness are also among my favourites. Who would not succumb to the beauty and grace of these animals?

  2. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Love the hippo in the small stream!

    • Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      I really had to look twice to see that the big stone in the river was actually a hippo sitting motionless in the water … .

  3. rickflick
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    A very exciting trip. I wonder if there is any significance to the lion’s tail curling up over the back.

    • Posted June 15, 2020 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      As far as I know, the meaning of such a tail position is that the lion demonstrates on the one hand self-confidence, it shows: this is my territory here. On the other hand lions signal thereby also the other animals that they are not in hunting mode, but only patrol through their territory.

      • rickflick
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        Good to know that she’s not in hunting mode.

  4. Posted June 15, 2020 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Great pictures. Looks like a good place for siting animals. My wife and I did a photo safari in Tanzania a few years ago and loved it. Some say it’s bad for the animals, who are endangered anyway. We really appreciated seeing them, though, before they disappear.

    • Posted June 15, 2020 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      I do not think that the safaris are a danger to the animals, rather the opposite.The fact that the locals have the opportunity to conduct tours for the tourists as rangers, and thus generate regular income, pushes back the greatest danger to the animals, poaching, as a lucrative source of income. Unfortunately, due to the lockdown and the resulting slump in tourism income in both South Africa and Kenya, the dangers for poaching have unfortunately increased enormously again.

      Apart from that; in Kruger Park, the animals are used to the presence of jeeps, and tolerate them as something neutral, which is not threatening to them.
      The fact that as a visitor you can get so close to the wild animals is a very wonderful and fulfilling experience.

  5. Posted June 15, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Wow! What an adventure that must have been! I would have stayed in the jeep of course.

    • Posted June 15, 2020 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Of course, no one is allowed to get out.
      And I think that the mere possibility that if you put your feet on the ground, you might run into, for example, a bull elephant that might be in musth, and therefore in an extremely uncomfortable mood and runs towards you, means that thoughts like getting out of the car don’t even occur to you.

      • rickflick
        Posted June 15, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        I had that experience. We drove to within 100 feet of a small herd feeding on young trees. The driver noted that one of the bull elephants we were watching was twitching his ears such as to indicate he wasn’t happy with our presence. Rather than start the jeep’s motor, he took his foot off the brake and we silently rolled back down the steep trail. The bull began to follow at a fast walk, but then turned back.

  6. Mark R.
    Posted June 15, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Looks like a blast. That lioness is beautiful. African fauna is always a welcome treat.

  7. Posted June 16, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing, amazing trip!

  8. Stuart
    Posted June 17, 2020 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    Hello
    What was referred to as langurs were most probably vervet monkeys.
    Cheers
    Stuart

    • Posted June 20, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Yes, you are right. Since langurs live in asia only, that were vervet monkeys I met there. The certain similarity of the Indian langurs I had once seen in Rajasthan led me to believe it was the same species. My mistake.


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