My first glimpse of a baby animal this season was of a vervet monkey strapped to its mother’s underbelly – clinging on tightly as she walked by. This was the first sighting I had, followed by many others. I sat on the lawn outside my room and watched as they went about finding food and feeding their young ones. It was even more incredible to watch as the little ones, now released from their mother’s grip, cavorted around the green grass, chased by their playmates. The mother vigilantly kept an eye on her young one as it paraded about.
If you are visiting Londolozi at the moment, you will most likely have seen these young monkeys and may like me, have taken time to observe their comical antics. This is the season of animal births and already we have seen many young ones as they make their first steps in a new world. Simon Smit recently witnessed the scene below of an Egyptian goose and her goslings, a touching moment of motherly love and care. A few weeks ago we were fortunate to have sightings of a wild dog den and their pups that had chosen Londolozi as their birthplace –the first place for them to begin their expeditions across the vast lands of the Sabi Sands. The dogs have left us, but it was an exciting time for everyone who was lucky enough to see them.
It is a time of great enjoyment as the births of impalas, wildebeest and warthogs arrive. While we haven’t seen the first impala lamb yet, we are sure that they will be with us shortly. Driving past them yesterday I watched as the impala females grazed, their tummies a sure sign that they are heavily pregnant.
Last week Trevor Ryan McCall-Peat and his guest Irene, had the fortunate of seeing an elephant birth. This was the first time that he had witnessed this and seeing the calf come into this world was an amazing moment. The sightings don’t end there and there are plenty of young ones to be seen – rhino calves, zebras suckling from their moms and we will soon see wildebeest calves.
Below is a compilation of some of the young animals that we have seen. It gives us great pleasure to watch them as they learn the ways of living guided by their adoring mothers.
Written by: Kate Collins