As this is the season of goodwill these photos feature close animal relationships, be they breeding pairs, mother and baby, or animals that simply hang out together. And as this is holiday season, I decided to make a break and feature photos taken on our last bush holiday, a change from my usual practice of focusing on nature in our suburban garden.

These wildlife photos were taken on our trip to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana last year. On our camping trips into the bush my husband and I always travel on our own, the better to enjoy the remoteness and quiet proximity to what remains of “the wild”.

2 Phokoje CKGR

Our favourite campsite in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve is a slight clearing at the end of a side road, with one tree at the centre and a broken long-drop loo to the side. There is no water or any such amenities. The nearest other campsite is over 45 kilometres away. We are happily isolated from other humans, especially at night, but we are not alone

3 Lanner Falcons CKGT

A pair of Lanner Falcons taking a break in the late afternoon 

We are often asked by people who prefer more serviced and domesticated holidays if we are scared, if we are lonely or if we are bored when out in the bush “with nothing to do”. When asked, “but what do you do all day?” it is hard to find an answer.  I can only say that the days are too short as there is so much to absorb and to take in. Although I take several books with me, I seldom finish even one, there is so much going on – much more interesting than television.

4 Blackbacked Jackals CKGR

A pair of Blackbacked Jackals in the glow of the rising sun, sharing an affectionate moment 

It can be wonderful to sit in one place and watch animals interacting. It doesn’t have to be the “big five” favoured by many tourists who, sadly, fail to notice how intriguing the less acclaimed animals and birds can be.

5 Ringnecked Doves CKGR

Ring-necked Doves form monogamous pairs and seem to do everything, including foraging for food, together

Of course animals that live in herds or small groups hang out together. But sometimes associations or alliances between individuals seem to be more than merely random. It is hard for us to know whether something akin to friendship or companionship exists between such animals. But just because we don’t know, does not mean that animals do not form such bonds.

6 Giraffe CKGR

Two giraffes, part of a small herd of about ten, walking shoulder to shoulder

7 Secretarybirds CKGR

A pair of Secretarybirds walking together through the grassland in search of food

8 Springbok & lamb CKGR

A Springbok mother looking after her young lamb

Wishing you all happy holidays wherever you may be and friendly collaborations and benevolence in the year ahead.

Posted by Carol