Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our visit to Marloth February 2011

Me and Danie were fortunate to visit the Khayas during February for 2 weeks. Needless to say, another great 2 weeks in our lifes. During the summer months the bush was blessed with more rain then last year, turning it into one lush, green paradise! A lot of animals were removed earlier and this action caused them to have a lot of babies this year. Almost all the warthogs have more then one baby and they are just so amazing. At Khaya Romantica's back door a mother warthog came to feed her young every afternoon around 15h00. I have been sitting there with my camera every afternoon waiting for them.

The actual problem to me seems to be that the warthog population will not be curbed by culling. They definably have bigger litters...up to double as big, than last year before the culling. It would be unnatural for humans to have a permanent culling process in place. One gets so attached to the resident animals and it is quite a shock when you realise that a specific old regular visitor does not come around any more. The solution that we all would much rather have is to have the fences lifted and let the cheetahs, lions, hyenas and other predators do the natural culling. As they say... Africa is a tough country and the cruelty only reach an unusual level when man takes part in the battles.

On that note we were sitting at the newly built outside fireplace at Khaya Romantica one evening waiting for the bush baby to show his face. We could hear the laughter of a hyena and the far off call of a jackal. That is what naturally cause one to keep conversations down to the bear minimum short questions like: "did you hear that?" or a hushed: "listen!". The next moment the bush baby appeared and for some or other reason its normal nervous movements seemed to be in turbo action! It only hanged around the yogurt that we placed out for it for about 15 seconds before it leaped into the treetops and disappeared in the darkness. It must have been at the most after the third leap since it disappeared that we heard an anxious squirming which was muffled almost instantly. Within split seconds we could see something quite large flew away in the dull light of the small moon. The owl also needs to eat. We know that bush babies have a very close knit family life. One cannot help wondering whether this specific one had babies or not.

Sorry for such a tearjerker. It is reality though, and that story, together with the zebra mare and her newly born foul that lingered around Khaya Romantica for about three days and many other incidents adds up to what we've come to love about this place. The African bush !!

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