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Safari plus Stary, Stary Night Spectacle

Game Drive, Kapama Private Reserve, South Africa

View Around the World! - Part 3 on Where2FromHere's travel map.

Just when you think you've seen it all! Each time we venture out from our lodging and believe there couldn't possibly be yet another "great find," another game drive provides even more fascination with the wonders of Africa and the animals that are so unique to this environment. Our final evening game drive did not disappoint. Here are but four of our amazing "finds:"

  • Nyla: This is a close relative of the busbuck and found in thickets and dense woodlands, generally near water. It browses on leaves, feed on pods, fruits, herbs and also green grass. The color of the male coat differs considerably from that of the female, and becomes darker as it matures. The dominance of the male was spectacular as it struted with mane erect and neck arched, making it seem large to its rivals. It's tail is raised over the rump and the white hairs fan out, with head lowered and horns pointed forward.


  • Giraffe Reflection: The majestic giraffe never fails to captivate us with its graceful stride and regal bearing. In this enchanting scene, two giraffes are depicted - one standing tall in its natural habitat, while the other is perfectly mirrored in the still waters of the nearby pond, creating a breathtaking display of symmetry and serenity.


  • African Hornbill: You might recognize this charismatic bird as Zazu from the beloved movie "The Lion King." One of the most striking features of these birds is their large, curved, and vividly colored beaks. In fact, our guide and Jeff affectionately referred to the hornbill as the "flying banana" due to its bright yellow beak. However, these impressive beaks serve a much greater purpose than mere aesthetics. As omnivores, hornbills have a diverse diet that includes both plants and animals. Their powerful beaks are perfectly adapted to crack open tough fruits, nuts, and even small creatures like insects and lizards, allowing them to thrive in their African habitat.


  • Honey Badger: Based on the distinctive black and white coloring and the elongated snout visible in this image captured during a game drive, this animal is a honey badger, also known as a ratel. They're skilled hunters and foragers known for their tenacity and tough, loose skin that helps protect them when confronting predators or prey. They have strong jaws and claws to dig for and consume a wide omnivorous diet including rodents, reptiles, insects, berries and of course honey. While honey badgers are not among the famous "Big Five" African animals that are a top draw for safaris, spotting one is still an exciting and relatively rare experience for a tracker, since honey badgers are typically solitary and often nocturnal. This sighting provided a great opportunity to observe this bold and fascinating member of the weasel family in its natural habitat.


While these incredible animal sightings were undoubtedly a highlight, the evening offered so much more. Our guide, Justice, astounded us with his vast knowledge not only of the wildlife that roamed the earth beneath our feet but also of the stars, constellations, and galaxies that illuminated the heavens above. We found ourselves utterly captivated by his discussions, our minds expanding to embrace the wonders of both the terrestrial and celestial realms. Oh, what a stary, stary night under the spectacle of the African skies!


Posted by Where2FromHere 04:45 Archived in South Africa

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Stunning pics Barb, especially the giraffe reflection…

by Jill

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