SafariSpy: saving the best for last
By Kat Holmes
Yes it is the last SafariSpy post for now. Our camera trap has made the long journey back to the UK but not before taking one last outing, which turned out to be the best to date! Kev and Emma, who took the camera trap out on its first outing, took the camera trap out again for its farewell trip. They visited a great protected area called Madikwe in the north east of South Africa close the the Botswanan border.
As it was winter in South Africa, Kev and Emma cleverly placed the camera trap next to a small watering hole. In the drier areas of South Africa there is very little rain for several months during the winter. Therefore, the animals in areas like Madikwe rely heavily on artificial watering holes. Many species, like the beautiful zebra above, make daily trips to the watering hole and this provides great opportunities to capture a variety of species.
A huge african buffalo (Syncerus caffer) also came for a drink, it is likely that this was a single male. Buffalos usually move around in very large herds, however males often leave the heard as they grow older and grumpier! The grumpy bit is certainly true, it is well known that old male buffalos are very unpredictable and considered one of the most dangerous animals to come across in the bush.
Kev also captured a brown hyaena (Hyaena brunnea) emerging out of the bush with its long brown coat of hair. Brown hyenas live in loose groups of up to 12, but they are only usually seen together when feeding at large carcasses. They are known to drive cheetahs and leopards away from their kills but are wary of lions.
An african civet (Civettictis civetta), a species we have captured on the SafariSpy before, also appeared to show off its beautiful coat. This distant relative of the cat family has the ability to digest toxins, therefore it can eat millipedes, toads, scorpions and even the most venomous snakes.
The waterhole even attracted bird species. At night both a barn owl (tyro alba) and spotted eagle owl (bubo africanus) were captured.
Finally, Kev captured some grey lourie (Corythaixoides concolor) and a cape glossy starling (Lamprotornis nitens). The staring has beautiful petrol coloured plumage. The grey lourie is often called the grey go-away bird as it is known for making a loud call that warns other animals when a threat, such as a human, approaches.
We hope you have enjoyed the South African adventures of our camera trap and the unusual wildlife that it has revealed. Why not look back on our previous Safari Spy posts to see more and we look forward to bringing you more adventures in the future.