July 2021

The congregation of different species


The congregation of different species

Coman Mnisi
By Coman Mnisi
Field Guide

One warm July morning we went out on game drive and I surprised by all the animal activity. While driving around the western part of the concession we experienced a beautiful elephant sighting presenting a perfect photographic opportunity. On our way back to the lodge we decided to take the central road so that we would pass by one of the popular waterholes and see if there was any activity. About 100 metres away from the waterhole we saw a large herd of impala, followed by about 15 kudus, and a couple of giraffes heading to the waterhole to drink.

I got fascinated by how all of them complemented each other when it comes to making sure whether it was safe or not to make their way to the water to drink. They were all on the lookout for trouble in the shape of predators, and by doing so were increasing their chances of survival. I then realized that survival would be more difficult if some of those animals lived on their own, rather than in a herd. Animals such as impala and young animals are the most targeted by predators. It is therefore much safer for them to be around other animals that can see more than they can because those species are bigger and their eyesight is from a higher vantage point and so on. The pooled synergy of senses helps each species survive.