These are some of Elize Olivier’s sightings from 2012.
Here’s a photo of Nose, the hyena that Elize mentions in the Go! Kruger 2013 guide. She is one of the hyenas living in the area around Letaba camp in Kruger and Elize sees her frequently. Elize calls her Nose because of what looks like a piece of skin that’s hanging loose from her nose.
“She visited us on the evening of 3 March 2012 in our garden in the (Letaba) staff village. You can just imagine that my guest was not impressed but we love moments like this.”
And this is baby Alsation with his hyena family seen in the den near Letaba on 9 May 2012.
“Wonder how he’s doing and if he’s ok.”
These photos of an adult and juvenile Saddle-billed Stork on their nest were taken on 17 May 2012.
“This is a very active nest. It is 500 metres from Phalaborwa gate and has been active for the last 2 years.
Rene (a friend) saw the female recently preparing her nest for this breeding season. I will take pics as soon as there’s action in this nest again.
So nice to watch them growing up.”
Saddle-billed Storks are classified as Endangered in South Africa, and are one of the Big 6 birds of Kruger. The other 5 are the Kori Bustard, Martial Eagle, Lappetfaced Vulture, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Southern Ground Hornbill.
Elize saw this baby giraffe with its mom on 24 May 2012 on the H9, 2km from Letaba camp one afternoon.
“So small and so perfect.”
It’s not everyday you get to see a sighting like this, even when living in Kruger – Cheetah, 29 May 2012, early morning.
“It’s wonderful to start a day like this. Found this cheetah posing one morning on my way to work.
Such a beautiful animal.”
And then this magnificent male lion on 14 June 2012, also in the early hours of the morning.
“So beautiful and wonderful to get a male like this.”
The Masorini Pride of lions is a well-known pride found in the area around the Masorini Archaeological site along the H9. Locals have been following this pride over the years, watching cubs growing up and the pride splitting and changing. The photos below were taken by Elize on 27 July 2012 and 7 August 2012 respectively.
“How wonderful to start a morning like this and to get the Masorini pride on the H9 at the Masorini waterhole.
The cubs are getting so big and the moms are so protective.”
Elize came across this baby elephant with its mother in the afternoon of 9 August 2012.
“I just love watching the baby ellie with mommy. I took these pics near Olifants camp. The little one was so happy-go-lucky and mommy so proud.
I love watching ellies and to see how protective and caring they are of
their little ones. They are such gentle intelligent beasts.”
There are an estimated 12,000+ elephants in Kruger and they are definitely a favourite amongst visitors. Elephant herds are headed by a female, called the matriarch. Males leave the family unit between 12 and 15 years of age. The elephant’s gestation period (the time in which a fetus develops, beginning with fertilization and ending at birth) is 22 months, which is the longest of any land animal.
I’ll be posting more of Elize’s great sightings soon, so keep an eye out.
Other posts about Elize: