Summer is my favourite time of year. Or more specifically, November and early December are my favourite 6 or 7 weeks in the year, purely for the wonder of the births of the impalas, wildebeest and warthogs. Tiny versions of the adults are frolicking everywhere, full of the joys of life. If one is incredibly lucky, one might actually get to witness that special moment when a calf or lamb is brought into the world.
Witnessing an actual birth is rare; I have never seen the full event, but I have been privileged enough to be there moments afterwards on a few occasions, to witness the little one take its first tentative steps in the world.
Recently, on the way back to camp and trundling down the hill past the airstrip, we rounded a corner and in front of us was a female wildebeest nuzzling a tiny bundle in the grass. Realising immediately what was happening, we backed up in order to give her space and not make her or the calf too nervous, and we were thrilled to watch the little one get hesitantly to its feet for the first time, fall over once or twice, and then finally follow its mother back to the herd.
Enjoy the following series of shots of a young wildebeest coming into the world:
Written and Photographed by James Tyrrell