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Pilanesberg

After a pretty good nights sleep and managing to weave our way safely through the animals last nigbt – the campground is a night time haven for impala and everywhere you turn and walk they are there ready to scare the bejesus out of you when they decide to move or you nearly walk over them – it was time to go hunting, well with a camera anyway.

Pilanesberg has an area of 572 square kilometres (221 sq mi) and has approximately 188 kilometres of road, so there was plenty left to explore.

The creation of the Pilanesberg National Park is considered one of the most ambitious programmes of its kind to be undertaken anywhere in the world. Thanks to Operation Genesis in 1979, which involved the game-fencing of the park and the re-introduction of many long-vanished species, the park now has in excess of 7,000 animals including 24 of the larger species, including the Big 5.

The park exists within the transition zone between the dry Kalahari and wetter Lowveld vegetation, commonly referred to as “Bushveld”. Unlike any other large park, unique overlaps of mammals, birds and vegetation occur because of this transition zone.

We had a slightly better viewing day today as we got to see lions.

Lion
Lion

We sat and watched them for probably an hour in the morning and then came back later in the afternoon to discover that they had made a kill during the day sometime. You could just make out the remains of the zebra lyrics by near one of them.

Can you see the Zebra ?
Can you see the Zebra ?
Hunting in the summer is hard work one must stretch often
Hunting in the summer is hard work one must stretch often
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Can you spot all four ?

February is not an ideal time to be in the parks, aside from the heat of summer the grass is thick and long thanks to the summer rains which makes spotting and shooting very difficult.

Typical spotting environment
Typical spotting environment

As you can see whilst we saw lion it wasn’t very ideal however is very typical of summer spotting and sometimes spotting in general. Having them lay about river banks and make kills right in front of you is not the ‘norm  although we all wish it was.

Some of the other game we spotted …

Elephants playing
Elephants playing
Wildebeest staring
Wildebeest staring
Zebra's crossing
Zebra’s crossing
Elephants meandering
Elephants meandering
Impala posing
Impala posing
and by the look of that cut on his front leg, a zebra counting his blessings !
and by the look of that cut on his front leg, a zebra counting his blessings !

The Pilanesberg really is a beautiful place to be.

The park as the sun begins to set
The park as the sun begins to set

 

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