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Big 5 Ranger Blog

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Lilac Breasted Roller (Coracias caudatus)

As summer arrives, we have many new visitors in the form of feathers. With their beautiful colours and impressive flying skills, we have quite a few keen birders coming through the lodge. I enjoy watching all our summer migrants, but one of my favourite to photograph...

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Rainy Adventure

This last week we have been greeted by incessant rain. While it is much needed for the bush and the animals, guests arriving to what they expect to be a hot and sunny Africa often meet it with apprehension. Most expect it to ruin their safari experience, but this is...

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Under a Watchful Eye

Animals, just like humans, have personalities. Think about your dog at home - some days your dog is beyond excited about anything and the next, he might be laying in his basket, having what we as humans would call an "off" day. As rangers, we constantly see the...

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Western Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)

Every now and again, you get up close and personal with a particularly beautiful bird. As I am rather fond of the birds of prey – each displaying their magnificent talons, strong beak and striking colours – I find myself drawn to taking pictures of them whenever I get...

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The Best Job in the World

The past few days have been really exiting - so many different sightings of animals interacting with one another. Not too long ago, we had two male hippos battling it out in one of our dams, real serious fight - water splashing everywhere, blood coming from the hippos...

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Southern White Faced Scops Owl

The Southern White Faced Scops Owl is a small owl easily recognizable by the very striking white facial disc with a border of black plumage. It has large, bright orange eyes, which are surrounded with black colours. They are 25cm in height and they weigh around...

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Small Tracks, Big Animal

It is the first drive for my new guests. They were staying for two nights so the plan was to maybe track down one of the big 5. There was no pressure yet and everything was still new and exciting to them. So the drive went along smoothly as we looked at birds, trees...

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The Calls of Africa

Our safari was almost complete. We only had one night drive and a morning drive left. It was time to look for what we haven’t seen yet. The answer - lion cubs. Setting out, all the other rangers were determined to find a leopard. So we were alone. We did however have...

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The African Buffalo

This afternoon, we had a breeding herd of buffalo with many calves that moved through the southern parts of the reserve. For the majority of the females, the 11 month gestation period is now over. Now that the bush is lush and green, there is enough food and water for...

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Commelina benghalesis

It was on a late morning walk, when everyone was walking with their heads up after viewing a breeding herd of buffalo at one of the dams, when suddenly, one of my guests was trying to tie his shoe laces, and one of the grasses draw his attention. With a flower with a...

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Getting Some Sun

It was a very overcast morning with a gust of wind or 2 swirling in the bush when we went out on drive. We originally decided on trying to go for lions as the weather conditions were suited for them. But no lions were anywhere to be found! A little bit later on in the...

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The Private Lives of Hyena

In one of our quieter times, not too long ago, we decided to drive towards the den where the hyenas keep their young. Because it was a quiet time for most of the lodges, there were no other safari vehicles in the area and we had the sighting to ourselves for more than...

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The Stories Behind Chameleons in African Culture and Folk Tales

This is the best time of a year where we see a lot of chameleons. They are found throughout almost all of southern and central Africa, with the northern limits of its range extending from Nigeria and Cameroon in the west, to Somalia and Ethiopia in the east. They are...

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Rain Frogs (Breviceps sp.)

One of the most wonderful sounds after a good rain in the African bush is the sound of all the amphibians, singing their songs, and trying to attract a mate. There are notes that are high pitched, ones that are a low rumble, ones that sound like the frog has a bit of...

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Appreciating the Smaller Things

This afternoon, we had one of those drives that some people would consider being very quiet as we didn’t see any of the big 5 animals. This was fine, however, as we had already seen them the day before. This drive turned out to be a whole new experience all together....

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How the Zebra Got His Stripes

Long ago, when animals were still new on earth, the weather was very hot, and there was little water that remained in pools and pans. One of these pools of little water was guarded by a boisterous baboon, who claimed that he was the 'lord of the water' and forbade...

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Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale parvula)

The Dwarf mongoose is the smallest carnivore found in Africa. Thus they can be called the opposite of lions, who is the biggest. But by no means are they any less interesting. Fully grown they can weigh between 200 and 350 grams and is about 20 to 30 cm long. They are...

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White Tailed Mongoose (Ichneumia albicauda)

The White-tailed Mongoose is the largest of the mongoose family. They can weigh between 2.5 - 4kg. The body is light brown to grey and the legs are black. So the white of the tail really does stand out and gives the animal its name. These mongooses are nocturnal...

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