Even in conservation areas, wild animals do not always tolerate the presence of approaching vehicles or people on foot. Some are nervous and dash off immediately and others may hesitate before deciding to turn away. But happily many do grant us the privilege of a calm encounter, even continuing as they were before, ignoring intruding visitors or even showing some signs of curiosity. In some ways it’s a shame to view such wild animals mostly through the lens of a camera, but for better or worse here is a random collection of photographs that are special to me.

I’m being a bit more restrained this week and instead of a narrative, each photo has only a caption and a mention of where the photo was taken. I hope you enjoy this excursion back in time and outside the confines of our garden.

Grazing old buffalo, Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa

Grazing solitary old buffalo and plumbago flowers (Addo Elephant National Park – 2016)

Giraffe chewing on a a sprig of leaves and twigs, Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Botswana

Giraffe at breakfast (Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Botswana – 2016)

Walking kori bustard, Botswana

The kori bustard (Africa’s largest flying bird) that didn’t turn its back on us (Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana – 2016)

White rhino and a small blacksmith lapwing standing nearby, Tala Game Reserve, KZN

White rhino and blacksmith lapwing/plover by the waterside (Tala Game Reserve – 2010)

Striped ground squirrel outside the burrow, Mabuasehube, Botswana

Striped ground squirrel enjoying early morning sunshine outside the communal burrow (Mabuasehube Game Reserve, part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana – 2008)

Gemsbok or oryx at Botswana's Central Kalahari Game Reserve

The sabre-like horns of a gemsbok/oryx (Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana – 2016)

Black-backed jackal, Mabuasehube, Botswana

A curious black-backed jackal detoured to come and take a look at us (Mabuasehube Game Reserve, part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana – 2014)

Male baboon as troop lookout, Gamkaberg Nature Reserve, South Africa

A male baboon looking out for the troop as we walked on a hiking trail below them (Gamkaberg Nature Reserve – 2016)

A crested guineafowl at Kuleni Game Park, Zululand

A shy crested guineafowl (Kuleni Game Park – 2013)

Lioness at Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

A lioness watching us watching her from our car (Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park – 2013)

Young elephant approaches waterhole with family group, Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa

A young elephant with family group eagerly approaches a waterhole. The adult elephant in the header photo was already at the waterhole (Addo Elephant National Park – 2016)

Male lion at Mountain Zebra National Park, South Africa

One of two males lions introduced into the park in 2013; they were joined by two females introduced in 2015 (Mountain Zebra National Park – 2016)

Male kudu antelope at Cape Vidal, iSmangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa

Two male kudu antelope in a bachelor herd (Cape Vidal, iSmangaliso Wetland Park – 2016)

Young impala at Mkhuze Game Reserve, KZN

A young impala enjoying some shade on a hot afternoon (Mkhuze Game Reserve – 2015)

Impala ram at Mkhuze Game Reserve, KZN

An impala ram showing his curved horns in profile (Mkhuze Game Reserve – 2015)

Small family of warthogs at Kuleni Game Park, KZN

A small warthog family in morning sunshine (Kuleni Game Park – 2013)

Profile of zebra at Hluhluwe, South Africa

A zebra munching on grass while partially screened by a thornbush (Hluhluwe – iMfolozi Game Reserve – 2009)

Black-backed jackal in late afternoon light at Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana

Black-backed jackal illuminated by the setting sun (Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Botswana – 2016)

Posted by Carol