Thursday, September 28, 2017

Game drives from Tented Adventures, Pilanesberg Game Reserve,North West Province

Although I was only at Tented Adventures for 2 game drives,
they were action packed with interesting and informative sightings.
Within minutes of starting our evening game drive,
we were stopped in our tracks by this interaction.
This was one of three cheetah brothers that seemed to have eyes on an early dinner...

Or did they?
If you look carefully you will see that the cheetah
 are NOT focussed on the warthogs AT ALL!

"Eat me"...said the warthog.
But the cheetah were not interested.

It was at this point that the warthogs decided not to push their luck,
and that "getting out of Dodge" was the sensible option.
Exit warthogs...stage right.

Enter Zebra, stage left.
Now THIS IS what the cheetah were waiting for.
Well, one of them as it turned out.

The brother closest to the herd decided that zebra was a MUCH better option
than a small warthog...and he took off in hot pursuit.
Without the other two brothers!

He raced alongside the herd for a while, but without the support of his siblings
this was not going to end in a meal.
Perhaps this was just youngsters testing their limitations.
Prey 1, cheetah 0

A first for me...
I have been visiting game parks since 1966, and I have never seen jackal pups before.
On a cuteness scale, these would rate a 10.
Two of six Black Backed jackal pups out exploring...

This youngster was very inquisitive and came within meters of our vehicle.
I do hope that all the pups survive, but that is probably not going to happen.

Two ways to get around the park.
Private vehicles are allowed to traverse the area. 
Many of the drivers of those vehicles have no idea how to behave at a sighting.
Which is a pity as it is often their lack of awareness that causes injuries
to both humans and animals alike.
An early morning balloon ride is the ideal way to have 
a bird's eye view of the park and its inhabitants.

Just a happy hippo.
Often referred to as the most dangerous animal in Africa,
yet it is not included in the BIG 5.
Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant
(Traditionally those were the most dangerous animals to hunt) 
But "most dangerous" is a rather sweeping statement.
You are more likely to be attacked if you come across them
when they are feeding on land and you find yourself
 between them and the water.
Don't let their bulk fool you...
they can move faster than Usain Bolt! 

The Giraffe is a favourite amongst tourists.
Did you know that they have the same number of neck vertebrae as humans?
They have 7, but they are much larger than ours.
They also have a system of valves in their blood vessels that allows them
to bend down to drink without all the blood rushing to their head!

Another first... a pair of mating Nile Crocodiles.
We arrived post the actual event and just got to see them 
"relaxing in each others company".

A small Lark hiding in the tall grass.
These sightings are often referred to as LBJ's...Little Brown Jobs.
Meaning that you know the species, but not necessarily the exact bird.

Mankwe Dam.
The centre of the park and a place of almost ethereal beauty in the early morning light

This Greater Striped Swallow seemed to be glaring at me.
Or perhaps it was a more inquisitive look?

These are a different coalition of brothers! 
Not the trio that we saw chasing the zebra during our evening game drive.
I was told that there are 9 cheetah in the park and I saw 6 of those.

Looking westwards...
Not a prey species in sight.

One of the 'bro's catching some rays.

A face that only a Mother can love?
The Wildebeest is certainly an animal designed by a committee.
Don't let looks deceive you, they can be dangerous.
 I have been chased by them on more than one occasion. 
Every time I see them on the move,
"Run Forest Run" comes to mind.
But to be fair, if I have been chased more than once,
it does not make me that bright either.

Going nowhere slowly?
I don't think so...
Animals, unlike humans in a shopping mall, have a destination in mind.

An Uber for this Yellow Billed Oxpecker?
This one was not looking for ticks, but seemed to be having a rest
 while collecting material to build a nest.
To find out more about what this property can offer, 
visit their website:

BREAKING NEWS...
Tented Adventures are proud winners of a Lilizela Award. 



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