“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine” – Lord Byron
Over the last few years of guiding there have been sightings that brought tears to my eyes, sightings that sent sparks of adrenaline coursing through my veins, sightings that have calmed a busy mind and then there are sightings where I have laughed from the deepest part of my belly. This blog is a celebration of a few of those moments. The pictures are by no means photographic feats as most were taken mid-laughter-shake and were a mere attempt to capture the scene, but they are reminders of another kind of magic the bush brings alive – the sheer enjoyment of watching animals behave in ways you least expected.
I hope you enjoy this selection of humourous moments:
I got such a fright when a ball of feathers plummeted to the ground in front of me. The two Chinspot Batis’s were in it for the real thing: a territorial fight of note. In the surrounding trees, other batises chirped and called as if spectating a boxing match and routing for a victor. It was the first time I had seen such a thing and I couldn’t help but burst out a guffaw at these two tiny birds with a massive amount of tenacity.
A new born elephant calf is always a sight but when this little one attempted to climb over a log and then promptly got itself absolutely stuck, it was too much! The poor thing lay completely useless with legs dangling on either side and was only able to free itself with the helping trunk from mom!
The special thing about watching any youngsters is their level of play and when there are siblings to torment, cubs just cannot resist. This was a true “speak to the paw” moment.
I photographed this young leopard over a few months in another part of the Sabi Sand. I enjoyed watching her so much because of her curious and playful nature and couldn’t help but chuckle on this day as she spent a good half an hour twisting herself in the tree and observing us upside down.
All this Water Thicknee was trying to do was distract the Water Monitor Lizard away from her egg-filled nest. And she did a good job of it. However, the placement of the elephant dung and her left to right shuffle-dance resulting in not only myself but the entire vehicle load erupt in laughter.
My whole body was shaking far too much for this image to have ever come out sharp but it has been one of my most comical sightings to date. It is not everyday you see an elephant sitting on the head of another elephant!
This was a well timed shot that resulted in post shooting laughter. I didn’t even realise I had frozen this moment until I reviewed the photographs later but it did make me smile nonetheless.
We always say that lions can be pretty lazy cats sleeping up to 20 hours a day but this cub took it to a whole new level. She was not going anywhere!
One of the most unlikely sightings I have had was watching young Wild Dog pups tasting Morning Glory flowers. Whether there was sheer curiosity or play, it was one incredible sight.
Another shot of the pup with a bright purple flower in it’s mouth.
There is something so intriguing about primates, perhaps because of their closeness to us. I took this picture in Kruger National Park and is by no means a great shot. But, this baboon was clearly having such a bad day and was sulking just like a kid who has dropped their ice-cream that I couldn’t resist taking a quick snap at his misfortune.
Zebra are known to kick and bite each other in stallion fights but seeing one attempt for a rear end munch was hilarious.
What has been your most humourous animal sighting?
Written and photographed by: Andrea Campbell