Moments in time

Pamushana | June 2016

What’s special about this first photo is that it shows both a male and female nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) together, so that you can see how
very different they look. The difference in appearance between sexes is known as sexual dimorphism, and nyalas exhibit the highest sexual dimorphism among spiral-horned antelope.

Nyala are very shy and cautious when approaching open spaces, preferring to stay in thicker vegetation where their stripes and spots help to create a fragmented illusion that camouflages them amongst the rays and dappled light cast by the sun.

A crash of five white rhinos huddles together for an afternoon nap.

A male cheetah uses his tail as a flywhisk during his afternoon nap.

Wildebeest really don’t meet our fickle human criteria for beauty, but when seen up close, as this one was from our sunken photographic hide, they have long, curled, rather enviable eyelashes.

This look like a rather arbitrary photo of elephants on a dry road. It isn’t. I was out scouting alone and got the vehicle stuck in a malicious patch of mud. Then these elephants¬†appeared out of the woodland and marched towards me. I ignored them. All my efforts at extracting the vehicle were unsuccessful. I made ‘the call of shame’ for a colleague to come and help me. Then I had a drink of water, a think about the situation, tried a different approach and managed to wiggle the Land Cruiser onto dry land. Covered in thick black mud I gleefully cancelled the ‘call of shame’. The elephants had found my performance boring and moved off. Thankfully.

A far less stressful scene was this of white-faced ducks waking up to a new day. Some of them still had their bills tucked back beneath their feathers, in their warm ready-made duck-down duvets. It’s interesting to note where they choose to spend the night – on islands and shallows so that they’re alerted to any predator’s splashing approach.