I’ve often heard that a 4×4 offroad type vehicle is a prerequisite for driving on the sandy corrugated roads roads of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Situated in the Northernmost corner of South Africa, this National Park does not have the Luxury of tarred roads like the Kruger National Park and others. Speed is limited to 40km/h and signs requesting that tyre pressures be lowered to prevent further damage to these corrugated roads, and to improve the driving experience are visible at all the camps in the park. On a recent visit to the Park, I had the privilege to witness a Cheetah cross one of these roads ahead of me. I couldn’t help but notice the opposites between the deep tyre tracks of the heavy fuel powered vehicles that had already travelled this road before me, contrasted with the delicate pawprints left behind by the fastest animal in the world as it swiftly made its way across one of these infamous Kgalagadi corrugated roads. Opposites is the prompt on the Weekly Photo Challenge this week, and images of the Cheetah crossing the tyre tracks is my response to the prompt.
The Hapoor Dam at the Addo Elephant National Park is frequently visited by large numbers of Elephants as they move through the terrain in the Park. It is a place where they drink, splash themselves, swim etc, before they finally move on to be followed by the next group. Consequently, other animals have to try and sneak a drink in between. I watched as a Black backed Jackal saw an opportunity to have a drink, shortly after some Elephants had moved off. The jackal carefully advanced to the waters edge and started drinking. Shortly after two Elephants, a younger and older an one, arrived on the other side of the water. The Jackal was obviously thirsty and appeared to have decided to just keep drinking despite the arrival of the heavies :-). The Elephant “partners in crime” obviously didn’t appreciate the presence of the Jackal at “their” waterhole, and tried to intimidate the Jackal, by mock charges and splashing water towards it. The jackal appeared unperturbed and continued drinking, so the heavies persisted with their bullying tactics. At one point the Jackal appeared to turn away from the impending splash, but turned back and continued to drink thereafter. Eventually, he moved on carefully. Perhaps he had enough to drink, or he decided he had overstayed his welcome :-). Partners is the prompt on the Weekly Photo Challenge this week, and a sequence of images of the Elephants and Jackal interaction is my response to the prompt.
Driving through the Kruger National Park, one can expect that you will come upon wildlife sightings on a regular basis. More often than not, someone gets there or is there before you, and the opportunity to get a decent view and photograph is determined by this. Every now and then you get to a sighting first, that presents an opportunity to get a decent sighting, and not to mention, unobstructed photographs. Perhaps there’s a sense of safety in numbers, but the encounters on your own seem to have an amplified sense of danger. On a drive through the Kruger earlier this year, we were fortunate to come across 3 male Lions having an early morning “catnap” :-), very close to the roadside. One of them was well concealed in the grass and the other two were alongside one another under the shade of a tree. One of the two under the tree momentarily twitched a foot as the vehicle came to standstill alongside them, which prompted me to be a very careful as I gently opened the window to get a few photographs of the trio. Careful is the prompt on the Weekly Photo Challenge this week, and images of the sleeping Lions is my response to the prompt…………………..