While there’s nothing like the thrill of a big five game viewing encounter, Tanda Tula guests are often entertained by some of the smaller things we see while out on drive in the Timbavati bush.
Cameras were snapping wildly when we came across a long line of processionary caterpillars. These furry insects walk in unison, with the head of each touching the one in front of it. They feed on various plants, and can completely strip their host of its leaves, but the trees recover with no permanent damage being done. Lines can be comprised of up to 600 individual caterpillars, which will eventually make silk cocoons compacted together and surrounded by a protective envelope. They emerge later as moths.
Guests were surprised and delighted when our keen eyed tracker was able to pick out the form of a flap neck chameleon sitting perfectly camouflaged among the green leaves of a tree. For most of us this would be a feat comparable to finding the proverbial needle in a hay stack-and he did it in the dark with his sweeping spotlight.
Two little tree squirrels provided lots of laughs and photo opportunities as the mother insisted on giving the reluctant little one a bath. After a few minutes he managed to wriggle his way to freedom and fled down the tree.
And finally, what we thought was a very small thing turned out to be something else completely. With binoculars we noticed a terrapin sunning himself in the dam on what appeared to be a big rock. Then –surprise! The rock stood up and we were treated to a terrific hippo sighting. View some of the images below:
Words and images by Jacquie Gauthier