Almost everyone loves baby animals. As humans we find them irresistibly cute. It is literally hardwired into our evolutionary biology. Cuteness is based on the basic proportions of a baby and its expressions of shyness and coyness.
As soon as we see a large, rounded head in relation to the body, a high, protruding forehead, large eyes which are low on the face and wide apart, and especially when these characteristics are accompanying a fuzzy body, something is triggered inside our brains and we immediately think “CUTE!” It makes us feel protective and nurturing, as if we could pick up the cute, teeny fur-ball, cuddle it and never ever let it go.
The “oohs” and “aahs” we are met with whenever we come across a baby animal while on safari are a sure sign of the love people have for them. The cute factor makes them a crowd favourite and people will often specifically request to see babies. So when is the best time of year to come on safari and get your cuteness fix?
The answer is… all the time! Many of the animals we commonly see on safari do not have a fixed birthing season. Lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, rhino, giraffe and many other favourites drop their young throughout the year. This past winter brought us amazing baby animal viewing, with a pack of African wild dog and their 9 or 10 new pups denning on our property, various leopardesses and cubs, hyena cubs, lots of elephant calves and many more.
Certain animals do have fixed birthing seasons, which are as follows:
Impala, wildebeest and warthog – November through to late February/early March.
Cape buffalo – July through to February
We are fast approaching spring, which is often known as baby season, and the year-end will undoubtedly bring many new lives to the reserve. Exciting times ahead at Singita Sabi Sand, especially if ‘cuteness’ is a top priority.