Thursday, April 18, 2013

What the fuss was all about!!! The newborn Elephant calf.

On our Blog yesterday I wrote about the behaviour of part of the Elephant herd on Monday evening, and what we thought the reason for this behaviour was. I am pleased to say we guessed correctly. This is a short account of some time spent with some of the herd this afternoon.

At around 2 pm I noticed a herd of Buffalo wandering across an open area near the Lodge and, sensing a photo opportunity, I rushed out. Whilst watching the Buffalo I also noticed a small family group of about 15 Elephants on the plain to the west of the Lodge. There had to be a reason that this group was not with the main herd! Could it be that Monday's newborn calf still needed to be on less strenuous terrain......? I hoped ....maybe fortune would smile on me and I would get a clear shot of the calf where the grass was short enough and there weren't too many of the family group around. I've tried this before....many times, never with much success. The newborns are always sandwiched between the mother and one of her older calves.

Driving very slowly, I rounded a bend....and this was my first sighting!

Having a nap....!

For the next 20 minutes I stayed with the group as they grazed and wondered past the Lodge, while the current Guests came to the perimeter fence to take photographs themselves and get a closer look. All the while the Elephants grazed contentedly while I concentrated on getting a clear shot of the patience was rewarded, and here are some of the results.

Below is the Link to another Blog about an Elephant calf born in early March 2012.

(Click on an image to view a larger version. All photographs are the property of River Bend Lodge and may only be used with permission)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Elephant behaviour River Bend Lodge

On Monday the Elephants were around River Bend Lodge for most of the day. Normally they graze peacefully around the open plains in the daytime and move off peacefully into the bush in the evening. Monday was different.....there was a sense of agitation and restlessness among a part of the herd. As the sun was setting they made a lot of noise....trumpeting and moving around, creating lots of dust.

At around midday on Tuesday we were able to have a guess as to what the commotion was all about....we spotted a VERY small newborn calf!!! We were unable to get a photograph as it was being shielded tightly within the family group. The Elephants once again spent the day around the Lodge....this time in a manner to which we are more accustomed, quietly and peacefully!

Observing directions!

Siya Cakwebe (Barman / Waiter) and Queeny Hobongwana (Housekeeping) get a close up encounter!

Young male of the bulls relocated from the Kruger National Park

Steve.....close up!

(To view a larger version 'click' on an Image. All photographs the property of River Bend Lodge and may not be used without permission)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Renowned Portrait Photographer at River Bend Lodge

We recently hosted Karl Klaey, internationally renowned Portrait Photographer at River Bend (he actually stayed at our exclusive use Villa...Long Hope).

We organized for Karl to take some photographs in our local township...Nomathansanqa, near Addo.

All of these Images were taken in natural around 11 o'clock in the morning when the light was certainly not advantageous.

Karl has given us permission to Share some of the Images on our Blog.

For more portraits by Karl Klaey you can follow this Link: Karl Klaey

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Birds seen in and around the Gardens at River Bend Lodge and Long Hope Villa

We have started doing a Species Identification of Birds which we have identified in and around the garden's of River Bend and Long Hope Villa. Birds seen outside the fence only count if they have been seen from inside the perimeter fences.

As we record sightings and have photographs we will add to the Blog. Like our Facebook Page, to keep abreast with updates:

The first two are photographs of two of the three Sunbird species.

Malachite Sunbird (Necterina famosa)

Greater Double Collared Sunbird (Cinnyris afer)

The third of these (the Amethyst Sunbird) we hope to get in the winter when they seem to be more prolific...but they are extremely difficult to photograph.

Cape Glossy Starling (Lamprotornis nitens)

African Hoopoe (Upupa africana)

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

Black Shouldered Kite (Elamus caeruleus)

Martial Eagle (Polemaetus bellicosis)

Bokmakierie (Telophotus zeylonus)

Brown - Hooded Kingfisher (Halcyon albiventris)