EmotionsofAfrica's Videos

Young elephant dunks brother's head under water during play fight31s

Young elephant dunks brother's head under water during play fight

In my opinion, there are no other terrestrial mammal species on this planet that loves water more than elephants do. Watching the largest mammal on earth enjoying itself in water is always a very amusing and entertaining experience. Splashing and swimming around during a hot day is the elephant’s favorite day time activity besides eating. Lacking respiratory glands, elephants can not sweat to cool themselves. Elephants have to cool themselves by using different methods such as flapping their ears, standing in the shade during the heat of the day or go for a swim. It was during a safari on a hot summer afternoon in the Kruger National Park that we came across a herd of elephants swimming in a river. It looked like they were having so much fun. The young elephants in particular were very energetic with many ongoing play fights in the water between siblings. Our attention was drawn to a group of young males busy playing and wrestling in the water. One young male elephant was chasing his smaller brother around in the water. The young elephant caught up with his smaller brother and decided it was time for him to understand who was the big brother in charge here. We were totally amazed by this hilarious and typical sibling like behavior. The young elephant went on to climb on top of his smaller brother and dunked his head under the water using his two front legs to hold him down. We were getting worried there for a few seconds as he kept his brother’s head under the water for longer than what we thought he would, seeing that they are only playing around. After a number of seconds, the smaller brother pulled his head out of the water, pushing his brother off him. Luckily elephants do have a large lung capacity and the youngster was just fine. It was such an entertaining sight to watch these play fighting siblings We all agreed that it was a typical ‘boys will be boys’ scenario with two brothers settling the ranks dominance while having fun at the same time.

Baby zebra hilariously struggles to get rid of bird wanting to nibble its ears1m03s

Baby zebra hilariously struggles to get rid of bird wanting to nibble its ears

It is always special to see the various relationships that exist between two or more different species of animals in the African wild. One great example of this is the relationship of a bird called the oxpecker and wild mammals in Africa. Their relationship is specifically known as a symbiotic relationship where both or all species involved benefit from the relationship. In this case the bird is checking the skins of animals for ticks and parasites they can feed on. In return the animals get rid of pesky bloodsucking parasites that can be detrimental to their health. This sighting was a great example of when baby animals don’t yet understand this type of relationship and is more seen as an annoyance than a benefit. During a late afternoon safari in the Kruger National Park, we stopped to watch a small herd of zebra busy feeding in the open. It was summer time which meant that there were many baby zebras around in the herds. Zebra foals are always adorable and they make for very entertaining viewing. We noticed one oxpecker bird jumping around the animals in the herd, looking for easy pickings between the hairs on their skins. The bird landed on the head of one baby zebra. It was not long before the little zebra became evidently annoyed with the bird continuously wanting to nibble in and around its ear. The ears of grazing mammals are one of those hard to reach places that is crucial to be cleaned. Only the bird can reach in the ear but it can clearly be a very annoying experience at the same time. It was so funny to watch the baby zebra shaking its head in an effort to get rid of the bird. The bird was relentless and kept going for the baby zebra’s ear the whole time. The bird simply would not go away while sticking to the side of the zebra’s head searching inside its ears for a snack. The pesky bird ended up annoying the little zebra so much that it hilariously started jumping around, kicking into the air while going a little crazy for a few seconds. The bird also became annoyed eventually and flew off to irritate another zebra in the herd.

Young elephant refuses to share mud bath with brother52s

Young elephant refuses to share mud bath with brother

While on safari in the Kruger National Park, we found a small herd of elephants standing a riverbed. The sun was sitting high already and it was getting very hot. We saw some of the elephants took the opportunity to go lie down in the mud, cooling themselves down in the process. At the same time the elephants can get rid of any pesky insects and ticks sitting on their skin. Watching elephants enjoying themselves while having a mud bath is mostly a very entertaining experience. Unlike any other animal, elephants really do have fun in all sorts of ways when they are in the mud or water. We were watching two young male elephants lying in the mud when a third young male appeared. The young male wanted to join his two brothers for a cool down in the mud. When the elephant decided to go lie down in between his two brothers, the one brother was having none of that. He simply stretched out his one leg and pushed his brother away, making it clear that he cannot come closer to share the mud bath. At one stage the young elephant kept his brother away from him for quite some time using his stiff leg up in the air, pushing against his brother’s side. The middle elephant eventually realized that he was not going to get comfortable in the small space between his two brothers. He leaned against his brother for a short while before getting kicked again repeatedly. The young elephant got the message that he was not welcome and decided to move on and find his own mud bath. It was really funny to watch these two young males fooling around in the mud. As they say, ‘boys will be boys’ and these two elephants displayed the typical behavior of two brothers not preparing to share much at a young age.

Confused zebras caught off guard by wildebeests' erratic behavior38s

Confused zebras caught off guard by wildebeests' erratic behavior

There are times when animals in the wild have the ability to totally stun you with their strange and unexplained behavior. As humans we are mostly inclined to find a reason for everything that happens but there are times when our answers are only one of many possible reasons and no one really knows. This was true during a safari in the Kruger National Park. We stopped to watch a small herd of zebra. Together with the small herd of zebra were two male antelope, better known as blue wildebeest. One was lying down, rolling around in the grass while the other wildebeest casually walked past. Everything seemed normal and relaxed with the animals going about their daily routines. Two zebras entered the frame of my camera. At that very moment, the standing wildebeest suddenly exploded with a burst of energy, jumping up in the air, then spinning right round with great speed before coming to a standstill, casually walking as if nothing happened. It did not last long as the normal behavior of the wildebeest suddenly turned very erratic again. This time the loony looking wildebeest started sprinting at full speed while running around in a circle. The zebra looked totally confused and the look on their faces were priceless. There were just as many confused looks among everyone that was on the safari. While confused, we found it hilarious to see this wildebeest having a crazy moment. While the first wildebeest hilariously ran around looking silly, the second wildebeest joined the party. It jumped up and started spinning around two times at a great speed before coming to a standstill. The running wildebeest also slowed down and came to a standstill before it started feeding again. The zebra kept staring while getting a little nervous at the same time. Can you blame them? Then, very quickly, it was all over. Everything looking calm and normal again as if nothing out of the ordinary ever happened. We continued to watch the wildebeest for another twenty minutes. There was not one funny, strange or erratic behavioral display again. It was like it never happened. There might be many reasons for this erratic behavior but no one will ever really know. We like to think that it was just two male blue wildebeest enjoying a little crazy time together, letting go of all their worries while having a bit of fun while being silly.

Hippo bull chases antelope away from ‘his’ watering hole30s

Hippo bull chases antelope away from ‘his’ watering hole

There are many days when the African bush is dead quiet with not much happening at all. None the less, you always have to expect the unexpected as things can change with the blink of an eye. While enjoying a morning safari in the Kruger National Park, we decided to stop and spend some time at a watering hole. The sun was sitting high and the heat was already becoming uncomfortable. We thought it would be a good time to see wildlife coming to the water hole to quench their thirst. There wasn’t much happening at the watering hole when we arrived. We scanned the area and spotted one lone hippo bull resting under the water with just a small part of his back sticking out. It looked like a big rock in the water. Soon three male kudu antelope arrived. Two males started drinking without hesitation. Everything seemed peaceful and quiet. One male kudu antelope decided to walk along the bank of the watering hole. The nervous looking kudu stopped and stared around into the bush. Prey animals are always nervous before they drink water. Most places with water are in the open, exposing the animals while drinking. At the same time, they cannot see what is going on around them while they lower their heads to drink. This makes prey animals vulnerable to attacks from predators. The male antelope then turned around, assured that there was no danger and that he could now go closer to the water to drop his head for a well-deserved drink. The antelope never checked the water for any dangers. The unsuspecting kudu immediately got a big surprise when he approached the water. The lone male hippo suddenly burst through the water, charging a few meters towards the antelope. The kudu clearly got a big fright and quickly jumped around and ran towards the nearest bush to hide. All three antelope then stood there staring at the hippo looking very confused by what happened. Male hippos are extremely territorial and possessive. The big hippo clearly decided the kudu antelope came too close for comfort and he had to warn him to stay away from the watering hole that he occupied for himself.

Safari guests enjoy breakfast in restaurant while watching elephants relaxing in the garden 49s

Safari guests enjoy breakfast in restaurant while watching elephants relaxing in the garden

As frequent travelers we are fortunate enough to have stayed in many hotels, resorts and lodges all over the world. Most of these places usually deliver great settings where one can enjoy a relaxing atmosphere during meal times, whether it be indoors or outdoors. Never in my life have we been treated to a breakfast experience like the one recently at a wilderness camp in the Kruger National Park. After a late morning safari, we arrived back at our camp and were heading straight to the restaurant for a well-deserved late breakfast. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were told at the entrance to please be very quiet and slowly take our seats. When we got to the outside section of the restaurant, we couldn’t believe what we saw. Less than twenty meters away from the table where we were supposed to sit was a small herd of elephants standing and lying in the shade on the lawn of the garden. What a surprise it was indeed. The video shows the table where we were going to sit. We didn’t take our seats immediately, standing in awe while watching the elephants carrying on as if they could not be bothered by us. A few other people were already eating and looked pretty comfortable having their breakfast while enjoying this amazing sight. We did the same and enjoyed a long breakfast while watching the elephants. The young elephants were playful in the beginning while the older elephants just wanted to rest. It was late morning and getting very hot already. These elephants knew that the biggest shady trees are located in the camp during the dry season. The camp was not fenced at all and these elephants enjoyed coming in and out of camp at their own time. Out of all the holiday breakfasts I have ever had in my life, this breakfast in true African style was and still is the most memorable one by far.

Itchy rhino calf gets interrupted by his mother while enjoying a body scratch 45s

Itchy rhino calf gets interrupted by his mother while enjoying a body scratch

During a recent safari in the Kruger National Park, we came across a family of white rhinos all covered in mud. White rhinos love wallowing in the mud, cooling themselves down and getting rid of pesky insects on their bodies at the same time. Once a rhino finished wallowing in the mud, the remaining mud becomes dry and hard on the skin. Numerous ticks and insects are trapped in the cakes of mud still stuck to the rhino’s body. Their skin then becomes very itchy, forcing the rhino to find an object against which it can scratch its body. Old tree stumps and rocks are popular rubbing or scratching posts. The video shows how the mother rhino and her young calf were using a big fallen tree stump as a rubbing and scratching post. It was clear that the young male rhino was very itchy after his mud bath and needed a good scratch badly. While scratching his belly, the young rhino calf became super excited. It was hilarious to see the little rhino jumping and bouncing around. The relief of the itch was clearly very satisfying. The rhino calf made for very entertaining viewing, scratching its belly from all angles while standing in the most amusing and awkward positions. While the calf was having a blast rubbing his belly against the stump, the mother rhino was standing next to him, patiently rubbing her horn against the stump. Suddenly the mother decided that her calf enjoyed enough belly scratches and that it was her turn to get a good body scratch. The mother rhino gently pushed her calf to the side while moving herself in between him and the rubbing post. To our amazement the young rhino reacted by pushing and shoving his mother in an attempt to move her away and reclaim his rubbing spot. The calf’s mother was not going anywhere. After his funny and very unsuccessful attempts, the rhino calf decided that it was better to let his mother enjoy her scratch and moved away. We couldn’t believe the cheeky attitude the young male rhino showed towards his mother. The calf’s belly must have itched so much that not even his own mother was welcome to use his rubbing post.

Tourists watch elephant casually drink from garden hose in backyard1m18s

Tourists watch elephant casually drink from garden hose in backyard

While on a safari holiday in the Kruger National Park we stayed with a group of tourists in a remote wilderness camp. These wilderness camps provide a true wilderness experience, situated far away from civilization and not fenced. Wildlife are free to move through the camp. This means staying in one of these camps can be adventurous and you have to be aware and vigilant at all times. While relaxing in camp one afternoon, we suddenly noticed a young bull elephant casually walking into the camp garden onto the lawn. There was a large sprinkler busy irrigating the lawn and the elephant walked straight to that sprinkler. To our amazement the elephant pulled the garden hose from the sprinkler and shoved it into his mouth. We couldn’t believe we were watching an elephant in the garden of our camp, drinking water from a hose pipe. I grabbed my camera and started filming this unusual sight. The elephant was so relaxed he even lifted his front left foot and rested it on top of the sprinkler. This made for a hilarious pose. The elephant dropped the hose and effortlessly picked it up again and easily put it back into his mouth. Once the elephant had enough to drink, he threw down the garden hose. The elephant then started pulling the hose pipe, looking like he wanted to roll up the hose and put it away. We quickly realized he actually wanted to pull the hose pipe from the tap to see where the source of the water was. It was not long before the young bull became annoyed with trying to reel in the long hose pipe. Luckily the elephant lost interest eventually and no taps were pulled out of the ground or garden hoses snapped. This was definitely one of the most unusual and funny sightings we’ve seen in the African wild. Elephants not only love water in general but they also love their water to be clean. When they have a choice, elephants are picky about their water and they will much rather prefer to drink clean and clear water instead of brown murky water. This elephant clearly knew that the water used for irrigation at the camp was much tastier and cleaner than the water in the nearby river.

Baby owl takes a nose dive from picnic table during flight attempt 35s

Baby owl takes a nose dive from picnic table during flight attempt

The semi-arid Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is situated in the remote northern western part of South Africa. It is one of the last true wilderness places left in Southern Africa. It is a vibrant semi-desert wilderness area with a surprising abundance of life. There is a diverse number of fauna and flora and one of the great attractions are the incredible number raptors found in the park. Birds of prey include various species of eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures and owls. During a recent visit to the park we stopped at one of the few small picnic spots where you can get out of your vehicle, stretch your legs after a long drive and have something to eat. We were the only people at the rest stop at that stage. While we were relaxing I suddenly noticed a movement on another picnic table on the other side of the resting area. I grabbed my camera and started filming. We realised it was a baby spotted eagle owl, standing on the table looking a little confused. The owlet kept looking upwards into the tree as if it urgently had to get back up into the tree. We decided to drive a little closer and see what this little one was up to. The owlet was still standing on the table looking unsure when it suddenly made an attempt to fly back up into the tree. The clumsy little owl failed miserably in its attempt. It looked more like the juvenile took a leap of faith and ended up nose diving straight down to the ground. We couldn’t help but to find this sudden fall very funny. The baby owl looked a bit shocked and confused after the fall. With us laughing at the owlet’s failure, it decided to sneak off and hide behind the tree. We drove around the tree and found the youngster hiding under a fallen stump on the ground, staring at us with its huge bright yellow eyes. It was as if the baby owl felt embarrassed by its sudden fall from the table and just wanted to hide. We decided to leave the owlet in peace and continued with our journey.

Male kudu antelope use their majestic horns during dominance fight 1m03s

Male kudu antelope use their majestic horns during dominance fight

When you spend a lot of time in the African bush as a safari guide, you get to see and learn allot about the behaviour of various animals on a daily basis. Observing animals and getting to understand their common behaviour is key to delivering a great safari experience to our visiting tourists. Every once in a while Mother Nature will surprise even the most experienced safari guides with an unexpected, uncommon or rarely seen sighting in the wild. While guiding a recent safari in the Kruger National Park, we noticed a large cloud of dust hanging over the bush a short distance ahead of us. There were also loud clashing noises coming from the same area. We decided to drive closer and investigate what was going on. When we arrived at the scene, we were stunned by what we saw. Two big male kudu antelope were locked in a serious fight using their incredibly large and powerful horns. We could clearly hear the loud bashing sounds of their horns clashing together. The kudu bulls were evenly matched and were pushing each other around while creating a huge dust cloud. Near the end of the intense fight one kudu bull managed to hook the other male around the neck and dragged him around in a solid grip. This particular fight lasted over half an hour until one male eventually gave up and ran away. In my 10 years of guiding and living in the African bush, this is only the second time ever I have witnessed such an event. After the eland antelope species, the kudu is the world’s second largest antelope. The kudu male has the longest and most impressive horns of all the African antelope. The male kudu is normally not aggressive with each other at all. Usually, dominance is established by a peaceful lateral display. During a lateral display, mature bulls will weigh up their opponents only by a show of their good looks and posture. The biggest and most impressive contender will then peacefully maintain all mating rights with the females while the other contender moves on without any objection. Only under rare circumstances when two animals are equally matched, will they actually fight using their large majestic horns. These fights can also potentially go all the way till death. Watching these majestic antelope doing battle with their magnificent horns was a priceless experience indeed.

Grumpy Elephant Chases Thirsty Warthogs Away From Watering Hole38s

Grumpy Elephant Chases Thirsty Warthogs Away From Watering Hole

For nearly two thirds of the year, the Kruger National Park goes through a dry period. During these long dry seasons, water and food becomes really scarce. These tough conditions create a hostile environment where the competition for food and water among animals becomes more fierce and intense. Across the park there are a number of widespread man made watering holes that are pumped right through the year from underground water sources. During dry periods these watering holes are great places to watch wild animals coming from far to quench their thirst. During a safari we decided to stop at one of these watering holes. On our arrival there was a herd of elephants already gathered in and around the water. Elephants are known for drinking huge amounts of water as well as their love for water in general. Elephants love their water so much that majority of the time they will not allow any other species of animal to share the water with them. While we watched the elephants enjoying their time at the water, a young warthog appeared, carefully making its way to the water for a long awaited drink. Suddenly one elephant in the water was alerted by the presence of the warthog. This behavior then triggered another elephant to come around and investigate what was going on. In the meantime a second warthog appeared, hoping to get a few sips of water. The elephant saw the warthogs and became really grumpy. Immediately the elephant charged towards the warthogs while letting out a loud trumpeting noise to scare them even more. The warthogs had no choice but to give up their opportunity of getting a drink. They quickly turned around and ran off into the bush. The elephant continued to run after the warthogs until they disappeared. We couldn’t believe that an elephant weighing a few tons would pick on something so small as a warthog weighing a mere sixty kilograms. In the process the rest of the elephant herd got a fright and became uneasy for a short while. After the whole commotion the elephants settled down again and continued as if nothing happened.

Trio of squirrels hold onto each other to keep warm31s

Trio of squirrels hold onto each other to keep warm

The Kruger National Park is one of the most visited wilderness parks in Africa. Tourists flock to the park every year to see the great variety of African wildlife living in their natural environment and habitats. The most sought after animals are called the big five and consists of lion, leopard, buffalo and elephant. While these big animals steal the show, there are many other smaller species of wildlife to be seen that can add to a great safari experience. It is the smaller animals that people tend to miss and overlook while on their search for the more popular and bigger animals. We went on a recent safari in the park and the weather turned for the worse. It was cloudy and miserably cold. On days like these it is usually difficult to spot any animals as they tend to lie down and not move. We had to make the best of the situation and still went out on safari to see what we can find. While braving the cold safari on an open game viewer vehicle, our guide suddenly noticed a large fury ball up in a dead tree. We drove closer to see what it was. To our amazement we came across the most adorable sight. Three cute squirrels were holding onto each other to keep warm while the cold wind was blowing. Such caring and loving behavior by the squirrels made for heart-warming viewing. The squirrels used this snuggle time for mutual grooming which is an important part in strengthening their family bonds. The video shows how much they do enjoy these grooming sessions with armpits, eyes, ears and the rest of the body thoroughly check for any irritating parasites. The squirrels would then rotate positions, giving each one a chance to be groomed while holding onto each other to keep warm at the same time. We never anticipated for squirrels to deliver such an amazing wildlife sighting and we were glad we made the effort to go out on safari during the unpleasant weather conditions.

Baby hyena struggles to stay awake while lying belly up next to mommy 34s

Baby hyena struggles to stay awake while lying belly up next to mommy

The Kruger National Park in South Africa is home to a great variety of large predator species. While the big cats such as lion and leopard are very popular amongst safari goers, one specific predator has a very different reputation. The spotted hyena, mostly viewed with fear and contempt because of their scavenging habits and their alleged cowardice. Among the beliefs held by some cultures, hyenas are thought to influence people’s spirits, rob graves, and steal livestock and children. With such a reputation it would be hard to believe that these amazing creatures can also be very cute and adorable, especially when they are still young. We had the fortunate experience to witness some of that unknown hyena cuteness. During a safari in the Kruger Park we stopped at what is called a communal den, usually a hole or burrow inside a termite mound. The focus of a hyena clan centres on a communal den where all the females keep their young. On our arrival we found one large female lying outside the den together with her cute little cubs. Our attention was drawn to one specific cub that stole the show. The cub was lying on its back and belly up next to its mother. This adorable baby hyena made for entertaining viewing as it was clear that it was very tired and could hardly keep its eyes open. The mother hyena was fast asleep and the baby hyena tried to keep itself busy and not fall asleep. Even chewing on its own leg didn’t really help and we could see how the baby hyena’s head was slowly falling backwards. For a little while the hyena cub could resist the sleepiness until it just became too much. The baby hyena finally fell over onto its side, lying in a much more comfortable position, joining mommy for a nap. Watching this cute baby hyena in its attempt to try and stay awake was hugely entertaining and funny at the same time. It also shows that hyenas are far more diverse and fascinating than the dull, one-dimensional creatures most people think of when they hear the word hyena.

Tourists unexpectedly find massive lion in front of room31s

Tourists unexpectedly find massive lion in front of room

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a vibrant semi-arid wilderness area with a great variety of wildlife. One of the main attractions are the big cats such as lion and leopard. Finding leopard can be tough but lions are seen on a regular basis and the park hosts a strong and healthy population. Temperatures in the park can reach between forty three and forty seven degrees Celsius. Big cats such as lion do not move at all during these hot times of the day. They will spend majority of the day resting or sleeping under the shade of a tree. The only problem is that there are not always many big trees around in this semi desert wilderness. This means that the lions of the Kgalagadi have become very innovative over time in their ways of finding shade where no trees are nearby. We were out on safari one morning for over four hours when we decided to head back to our wilderness camp. The heat was becoming relentless and the temperature was already thirty eight degrees Celsius at ten o clock in the morning. The camp had beautifully constructed rustic chalets made out of wood. Each chalet could sleep two people and each one had a veranda with a great view and most importantly great shade. These type of wilderness camps are also un-fenced, so wildlife can come and go through these camps as they like. For this very reason you are always collected and dropped off by a safari vehicle as walking around is forbidden. We quickly realized first-hand the purpose of the no walking around policy. We drove into the wilderness camp ready to go and relax and cool down at our chalet. Upon our return, our guide said he heard that it won’t be possible for us to go back to our chalet just yet. I thought he was joking at first but then became confused by this rather disappointing news. We asked him why? and he said he would go and show us. As we came around the corner of our chalet we got a big surprise. There he was, a big male lion, lying in the shade in front of our chalet. My wife and I were totally stunned by this unexpected visitor lying in front of our accommodation and we couldn’t say a word. We realized that we had to go find ourselves some other shade for the time being and wait for the lion to move on. Luckily we could spend our time in the restaurant until we were eventually told after three hours that the lion moved on and we could go back. Not every day that a lion beats you to your own house in search of a shady resting spot.

Baby rhino fascinated by his mom's horn39s

Baby rhino fascinated by his mom's horn

White rhino are the second largest land mammals on earth and as such take their place amongst the Big 5 animals of the African continent. The rhino’s most prominent feature is its horns. They are weapons of deference used during bouts of combat or to protect itself and its offspring from predators. Unfortunately a ridiculous number of rhino are poached and killed every year in the Kruger National Park purely just for their horns. The illegal demand for rhino horn is driven by the myth that their horns have medicinal value to humans. Rhino horn is used in traditional Chinese medicine, but increasingly common is its use as a status symbol to display success and wealth. The horn of a rhino is made of keratin which is the same substance as fingernails. Scientifically proven there is no medicinal value to humans whatsoever. With the senseless killing continuing, it is always a huge occasion to find a baby rhino in the wild. While on safari in the Kruger National Park we had the opportunity to sit and watch the most adorable baby rhino spending time with its mother. It was a little male and he was only two weeks old. The cute rhino calf only had a tiny bump on his nose for a horn. The little rhino’s two big ears were prominent and made it look so adorable. While spending time playing around with his mother, we noticed that this little guy was extremely fascinated by his mother’s big horn. The video shows how the baby rhino playfully investigates his mother’s horn. It looked like he was still discovering the huge thing stuck on his mother’s nose. The bull calf clearly knew that it was something he would use one day and even practiced his strength and combat skills against his mother’s massive horn. This baby rhino was energetic and full of play, bouncing and running around while being fascinated by his mother’s horn. It was great to see the little one was doing well and already starting to learn the skills he would need later in life. Seeing a baby rhino in the wild can be challenging and this was definitely one of our best rhino sightings in a very long time.

Travelling friends find man sleeping on horse next to road1m25s

Travelling friends find man sleeping on horse next to road

The Kalahari region in the Northern Cape province of South Africa is a special place, characterized by its vast semi-arid wilderness and farmland areas. It also hosts the lowest density of people in the country. Life in the Kalahari runs at its own pace and many will say it is a place still stuck in its own time. It is not strange to see many people still using horses or donkey carts as a mode of transport. Today this is still the only safe and reliable mode of transport available to many people in the rural areas. My friend Rudi and I were driving a long stretch of dirt road from their farm in the Kalahari to town which was an hour’s drive away. It was late Saturday afternoon and we were on our way to a social function in town. In the distance we noticed something rather odd. There was a lone horse standing next to the road in the middle of nowhere. As we came closer we quickly realized what was going on. On the back of this horse was a man lying, passed out and not moving. We decided to check it out and stopped next to the horse. At first we called, whistled and hit the hooter of the vehicle a few times to see if we might get any reaction. The obviously very loyal and obedient horse briefly looked at us but no movement came from the man. My friend Rudi decided to get out and investigate. I warned him not to go too close to the back of the horse as it might kick him. Rudi walked up to the horse and shook the man a few times while asking if he was OK. Suddenly the guy woke up, looking much disorientated and confused. His response was that he was on his way home. At the end of the video Rudi said to the guy in Afrikaans, “OK, the traffic light is green, you can go now” and off he went in a gallop on the back of his very trusty horse. It sure looked like the guy had a little too much to drink and passed out on the back of his horse while on the way home. Maybe he was just tired after a long journey and decided to take a power nap next to the road. None the less, it was one of the strangest and funniest things we have seen in a long time.

Fearless oryx chase hyena away from watering hole34s

Fearless oryx chase hyena away from watering hole

Wildlife in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is constantly driven by a great thirst. Water in this semi-arid wilderness is scarce and animals rely on a few man-made waterholes scattered across the park. These water holes are very far apart and animals must travel great distances in extremely hot conditions to get a drink of water. There are times when these waterholes get busy with all different kinds of animals congregating at the water. Understandably there are times when conflict arise between species around these waterholes. During a safari in the park we came across a lone spotted hyena at one of these man-made waterholes. Not too far away was a small herd of Oryx antelope. The predator was standing in the water to cool down while the Oryx antelope did not look very happy with the presence of the hyena in the water. The Oryx antelope looked intimidating, like warriors with painted faces and spears on their heads. The hyena clearly knew the dangers of these spear like horns. One Oryx bull started walking slowly towards they hyena and with a sudden quick burst of speed ran forward to give the hyena a fright and warning at the same time. The hyena responded to the warning and quickly got out of the water and ran a short distance away from the water. Unexpectedly the hyena turned around and approached the water again as if nothing happened. Another Oryx bull then stepped forward and with an intimidating attitude and kept on walking towards the hyena. Finally the hyena got the message that he was not welcome anymore at the water and decided to rather run off before it got more trouble than it could handle. The small herd of Oryx clearly decided that this specific water hole belonged to them for that period and they were definitely not going to share it with a hyena that they also see as threat in general.

Two falcons fight for meal, jackal walks away with it34s

Two falcons fight for meal, jackal walks away with it

The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a vibrant semi-desert, with a surprising abundance of life. It is a place where animals face a daily struggle to find food and water. Amazingly they manage to survive and flourish in extremely difficult conditions. In their quest for survival, wild animals living in this enormous open wilderness area become extremely adaptive to their environment. This can lead to very unusual, innovative and fascinating behavior from all kinds of wildlife species in order for them to be resourceful and opportunistic. We spend a few hours at a waterhole in the reserve, watching mostly birds coming to the water. Over time, predators and birds of prey have learned that the smaller birds coming to drink in the mornings and afternoons can actually be a great food source for them. Hunting a doves or finches that can suddenly take off with lightning speed when threatened, is a great challenge for the predators and not an easy task. One specific bird of prey that is faster and quicker than most birds is called the Lanner Falcon. These falcons are extremely good aerial hunters. Once a flock of small birds start gathering around the water hole, the falcon would come speeding through the air and swoop over the water hole in attempt to grab a small bird. We noticed nearby under a tree was a black backed jackal, patiently lying and watching the falcons trying to catch a meal. Suddenly we saw one falcon that managed to grab a bird call a Namaqua dove. What happened next blew our minds. The nearby jackal saw this and surprisingly started running after the falcon, chasing it at full speed. At the exact same time another Lanner falcon came speeding past the jackal, heading straight for the other falcon with the meal in its talons. The one falcon caught up with the other one and it was clear the falcon was making an attempt to steal the dove from the other falcon. The slow motion part of the video shows the dramatic but brief interaction where the first falcon let go of the dove and the second one trying to grab it in the air. The second falcon unbelievably missed its target by a small margin and the dove tumbled straight sown to the ground. Within a flash the jackal was right there and ran straight towards the dropped meal and claimed the prize. We were absolutely amazed by the fact that the jackal ran after one of the fastest birds of prey in the hope that it might steal the kill from the falcon. How the jackal knew that there was an opportunity to get a meal was just mind blowing and incredible to watch.

Heron displays impressive balancing skills on back of hippo57s

Heron displays impressive balancing skills on back of hippo

During a recent safari in the Kruger National Park these people were treated to the site of a large bird, daringly sitting on the back of a hippo while showing amazing balancing skills in an attempt to remain on the back of the hippo. The visitors stopped at a large dam to observe a variety of wildlife in and around the water. There were various species of water birds present together with a huge number of large crocodiles scattered around the edges of the water. Inside the water there were pods of hippo spread all over. Suddenly they spotted a large bird called a grey heron, flying over the water. To their surprise, the heron landed on the back of one hippo in the middle of the dam. Grey herons are large water birds that are commonly found around shallow water bodies such as shallow rivers, lakes and open marshes. They spend their time hunting mainly fish, with a menu that stretches to aquatic invertebrates, rodents and even small birds. This specific bird seen in the video is no ordinary heron. Over time this bird has developed the insight to find an alternative fishing tactic. Instead of only hunting along the shallow edges of this deep dam, the bird amazingly figured out to use the back of hippos as a perching point to fish from. In the middle of the dam the bird has the opportunity to get to larger fish swimming in the deep waters. Most of the time these hippos will tolerate the bird on their backs but there are times when things do not always go according to plan for the bird. The video shows the heron was perched on the back of a hippo that kept on moving around with no regard to the bird standing on its back. The hippo would roll from side to side and the heron would react to keep its balance by walking forward or backwards, just like someone would attempt to keep their balance on a drum floating in the water. This made for very entertaining viewing and we could not believe how determined this bird was to stay on the back of the hippo. Eventually the movements of the hippo became more erratic when it started fighting with another hippo. Finally the bird gave up and flew off over the water. To everyone's amazement the heron didn’t seem to give up and flew over the water straight onto the back of another hippo with half its body exposed outside the water. It is rare to see an interaction between such two very different wildlife species. Hippos are known as one of the most aggressive and dangerous mammals in Africa. To see a large bird showing off incredible balancing skills on the back of one of these feared creatures was a fascinating encounter.

Elephants rush over to help youngster out of muddy bank1m29s

Elephants rush over to help youngster out of muddy bank

Besides being the largest mammals on the planet, elephants are most likely the most intelligent and caring mammals roaming the African bush. Their strong family bonds are incredible and related females stay together for life in what is called a breeding herd. The gestation period for an elephant cow is twenty two months. For that reason baby elephants are a huge investment not only for the mother but the whole breeding herd all together. This video was recorded during a safari trip in the Kruger National Park. These people came across a big breeding herd of elephants enjoying a mud bath in a wallow. Once all the elephants got out of the mud wallow all their attention was suddenly moved to a tiny baby elephant that remained behind in the wallow. Getting in was rather easy but getting out became a huge struggle for this little female. The video shows how the baby elephant attempts to get out but she is just too short and weak to pull herself up the embankment. As usual the mother was right there but even she herself found it difficult to rescue her baby from the deep wallow. The baby elephant looked in real distress and very clumsy at the same time when she slipped in the mud trying to keep on her feet. At first the mother elephant attempts every possible way to get her little one out. She goes down on her knees while attempting to use her trunk. When that failed she turned around while stretching out one of her back legs, hoping for the baby to use her trunk and grab onto one of her mother’s legs. That tactic also did not work. Then suddenly the baby elephant decides to move down the wallow a little to a place where the embankment was not that steep. Her attempts to get out by herself failed again. Suddenly to everyone’s amazement we see other herd members running towards the struggling mother and her calf. One big female then joined the mother and in a joint effort managed to rescue the baby using their trunks to lift her out. These people were very relieved to finally see the baby elephant get out of the wallow and reunite with her mother. For the poor baby elephant it didn’t end there as she took a knock from her mother’s knee in the face by accident during the rush to move on. She pulled herself together and ran after her mother where she then suddenly tripped and fell. She quickly got up again with great determination and continued running hard to keep up with the herd that was very much in a hurry to leave. This video is a great example of the care and intelligence that exist among elephants and that life as a new baby elephant can be really tough at times.

Elephant gracefully steps over boom barrier with ease39s

Elephant gracefully steps over boom barrier with ease

The African elephant is Africa’s largest land mammal and a big male can weigh over five and a half thousand kilograms. At the same time they are most likely the most intelligent and intriguing animals that roam this planet. With this in mind, most people would never think that such a massive creature could actually perform delicate stunts with incredible agility, precision and style. Adult elephants are everything but clumsy and their ability to break into places where they should not be is astounding. Breaking into camps in the Kruger National Park, South Africa is one of their specialties. Gone are the days of elephants performing tricks in circuses. This video shows that wild elephants do not need any training from humans to be able to achieve their own stunts. The video is from a security camera located at the security gate of a private camp in the Kruger National Park. The camp was empty for 2 days and management thought it good to take all staff to town for a few hours. They left the camp unattended for four hours. On their return they did not notice anything out of the ordinary until they suddenly saw a number of trees snapped in half. Flowerbeds were destroyed and a great deal of greenery eaten. They immediately knew an elephant was in the camp and went to check the fences. Elephants have the ability to break through electric fences with great ease. None of the fences were damaged and the crew ended up back at the security gate. There the security guards noticed the tracks of the elephant at the gate. They immediately made their way into the control room and checked the recorded footage. To their amazement this bull elephant clearly knew that no one was home. He walked up to the gate and curiously touched it with his trunk to inspect it. Then the big bull elephant proceeded to step over the security gate one foot at a time. The boom pole of this gate stands at 1, 3 meters high and the elephant stepped over it without touching it once with any of his feet. The crew was stunned with the ease this guy made his way into the camp. Besides planting new trees and flowers, they could only laugh and make sure next time they always leave some people behind in camp to check the gate!

Amusing monkeys decide to cool down in a fish pond 38s

Amusing monkeys decide to cool down in a fish pond

During a recent visit to the Kruger National Park we came across a very amusing and entertaining sight while checking in at one of the rest camps. It was late afternoon and extremely hot when we arrived at the reception of the camp. Near the entrance was a fish pond and in the fish pond we spotted something moving in the water from a distance. To our amazement we realised there was a primate, called a vervet monkey, swimming in the pond. The monkey even had its head under the water looking like it was swimming breaststroke lengths in the pond. It was clear to us that this monkey was very comfortable being in the water and actually looked like a great swimmer. It was not long before a second monkey joined in for a relaxing cool down swim. A third monkey arrived but decided to leave them in peace. It soon became clear that the second monkey was a male joining the first monkey, which turned out to be the female. Like a true couple they spend time together enjoying a relaxing afternoon cool down session. We could not never imagine finding monkeys swimming in a fish pond right at the entrance of a rest camp. To see any primates swimming is a rare and unusual occasion. During extreme heat conditions various primate species have been observed cooling down only in shallow waters. The deep fish pond was ideal as there were no predators lurking like crocodiles as they would find in the rivers and lakes out in the bush. On this day the heat was just too much for these monkeys and they adapted by swimming in the safe waters of the pond. At the same time the male saw this quiet moment as a great opportunity to spend quality time with the female in the water. Something we have never seen before.

Adamant baby elephant insists sleepy brother wakes up32s

Adamant baby elephant insists sleepy brother wakes up

Watching a herd of elephants while on safari is mostly a memorable and very entertaining experience. In and among the herd there is always something happening, especially when it comes to the playful young elephants in such a herd. These breeding herds consists of mainly females and their offspring and all the related females will stay together for life. Young males eventually gets kicked out at around age thirteen. While those young males remain in the breeding herd, they are extremely playful and very entertaining to watch. This video was recorded in the Kruger National Park, South Africa and shows a male baby elephant very adamantly attempting to wake up his sleepy brother. To see elephants lie down flat on their sides is a rare sight and mostly it will be the youngsters that do enjoy a rest on their sides. Elephants do not have too much time to relax and sleep as they need to feed at least twenty out of twenty four hours of a day. The playful baby elephant was not going to let his bigger brother enjoy his morning nap in the sun. He wanted to play and he wanted his sleepy brother to get up. The little elephant proceeds to climb on top of his brother with his front legs. The sleepy brother still does not get up and looks a little annoyed with his younger brother bothering him. The little elephant then starts pushing and shoving his brother more impatiently hoping he will get up. Suddenly the sleepy brother decides that this is enough and quickly jumps up, looking all confused with the situation. The baby elephant then left his brother to go and annoy other members of the herd. This funny behavior had everyone in laughter and made for great entertainment on the safari.

Playful wild dog puppy loves to chew his brother's ear37s

Playful wild dog puppy loves to chew his brother's ear

During a safari in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, these people came across a pack of African wild dogs resting in the early morning sun. These dog-like predators are one of Africa's most endangered carnivores, second only to the Ethiopian wolf. They are covered in blotches of yellow, black and white with each individual having its own unique pattern by which they are identified. To see wild dogs on a safari in Africa is a rare occasion and always a highlight on a safari should you be so lucky to see them. Finding them with a whole lot of puppies is just priceless and really special. Wild dog puppies are extremely playful and make for entertaining viewing. These puppies are the cutest little creatures, filled with energy and very playful. The video shows how these wild dog puppies particularly enjoy chewing absolutely everything they can find. While one of the young males chewed on a piece of bone, his younger brother suddenly climbed on top of him. The next thing the youngster starts chewing his brother’s ear like it is a piece of rubber and it looks painful. Amazingly the puppy at the bottom didn’t seem bothered or in pain and continued chewing his bone. This rarely seen behavior had everyone amazed. The playing around and chewing on everything helps them to develop their muscles as well as the lifestyle skills they will require as adults. They grow up in an extremely hostile environment, filled with danger and many challenges. The mortality rate of these wild dog puppies is incredibly high and life in the African bush is about the survival of the fittest. So while they are young, they must play and chew as much as they can, because they will definitely need those skills to stay alive as adults.

Mastiff eagerly wags tail upon owner's demand37s

Mastiff eagerly wags tail upon owner's demand

Meet Bella, an incredibly loving and caring female South African Mastiff living in the suburbs of Johannesburg, South Africa. One of Bella’s unique abilities is that of wagging her tail upon her owner’s demand. Too funny!