Interesting Sightings

African Safari Fauna Flora

Wonderful news is that the REDBILLED OX-PECKERS (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) are still very much around and were observed feasting on the ticks plaguing the BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer).

Guess who's come to dinner...not you again!!
Guess who's come to dinner...not you again!!

CONGRATULATIONS! SIBUYA is proud to announce that Chris Ovens won a photographic competition and the picture was selected for publication in AFRICA GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE (November 2012 issue). A beautiful pair of binoculars was the prize for his stunning pic of a split-second interaction between an adult and juvenile AFRICAN GOSHAWK (Accipiter tachiro). Chris was out on game drive with guests and suddenly saw a juvenile GOSHAWK sitting on the top of a Euphorbia....always at the ready he lifted his camera and in that split second, an adult bird appeared from nowhere and lunged at the juvenile...what a winning shot!

Winning Pic - dynamic African Goshawk interaction by Chris Ovens
Winning Pic - dynamic African Goshawk interaction by Chris Ovens

A stunning sighting of a young LEOPARD (Panthera pardus) was had by Justin. At mid-afternoon he was driving to Camp when suddenly for a magical fleeting couple of seconds, the leopard and he stared into each others eyes and then the spell was broken and it soundlessly melted back into the bush.

This sighting was extremely noteworthy as usually leopards are nocturnal, secretive and cunning and as a result are very rarely seen...especially when they've unfortunately been persecuted for decades by farmers. The afternoon game drive vehicles combed the area but it had vanished!

Werner was the envy of the day when he spotted a stocky little HONEY BADGER (Mellivora capensis) while out on late afternoon game drive with his guests. As these aggressive little animals are seldom seen, particularly during daylight hours, it was a thrilling sighting and a first for the guests.

Cruising through LONG CAMP, Mike and his guests were transfixed by an AFRICAN FISH-EAGLE (Haliaeetus vocifer) carrying off part of an Impala lamb carcass. It's extremely unlikely that the Fish-Eagle actually killed the Impala...it probably found the leftover pickings of a LYNX (Felis caracal), BLACK-BACKED JACKAL (Canis mesomelas) or even other eagles such as the AFRICAN CROWNED EAGLE (Stephanoaetus coronatus) or the MARTIAL EAGLE (Polemaetus bellicosus) who are inclined to prey on small antelope.

Arriving visitors to SIBUYA were thrilled by the antics of a visiting SEAL in the Kariega Estuary. He tumbled and performed graceful dives right next to the boat...apparently oblivious to his enthralled audience and providing them with wonderful photographic opportunities. Later, he caught a sand shark which he thrashed around until he finally killed it and then, flashing his large yellow teeth, he shredded it as part of his "ritualistic game" and ate it piece by piece. Later he became a noncholant sunbather at the beach...oblivious to the small crowd who gathered to admire him!

The BLADDER CRICKET (Orthoptera - pneumoridae) seen and photographed by Justin while out on "rhino watch". This little "grasshopper/cricket/cicada" is endemic to South Africa and we only become aware of their presence in the middle of the night during mid-November and December when their weird inimitable call echoes through the forest and announces that they are courting! The voice of the male is the loudest of all known insects on the planet...98 decibels within a distance of 1 metre and can be heard up to 2km away! The female is flightless and she and the male duet so that he can zone in and find her. According to Dr Moira van Staaden, an expert on the subject, these creatures date back to the Jurassic Period!

The remarkable male Bladder Cricket
The remarkable male Bladder Cricket



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