A variety of cheetah with a rare mutation for cream-coloured fur marked with large, blotchy spots and three dark, wide stripes extending from their neck to the tail. In 1926 Major A. Cooper wrote about an animal he had shot near modern-day Harare. Describing the animal, he noted its remarkable similarity to the cheetah, but the body of this individual was covered with fur as thick as that of a snow leopard and the spots merged to form stripes. He suggested that it could be a cross between a leopard and a cheetah. After further similar animals were discovered, it was established they were similar to the cheetah in having non-retractable claws – a characteristic feature of the cheetah. Since 1927 the king cheetah has been reported five more times in the wild; an individual was photographed in 1975 in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. They are incredibly rare, even in captivity, as the distinctive fur pattern is caused by a rare mutation of a recessive gene; both parents must carry the ‘King gene’ in order for the offspring to show off the spectacular markings of a King cheetah, possibly the most beautiful of Africa’s wild cats. Working @hesc_endangeredspeciescentre a while ago on a very wonderful book, more on this shortly..with thanks to the amazing folks there for the incredible work they do.
Singita Lebombo Lodge - Kruger National Park, South Africa
This luxury lodge offers 13 rooms, and one private villa, overlooking the amazing Kruger National Park. The hotels suites are suspended above the N’Wanetsi River, that attracts lions, elephant, buffalo, leopard and Rhino to its banks. The lodge also features a roof terrace and wine studio.
Today my friend Darcy and I drove all over Kruger National Park in South Africa so we could finally see all of the animals from the cartoon movie “Madagascar.” (I waited two years in Madagascar for this!)
Driving in South Africa is terrifying, especially after two years of neither of us driving AND now having to learn to do it on the wrong side of the road. But seeing these incredible animals makes it all worth it. A rental car really is the best way to see Kruger! We can spend hours staring at a grove of giraffes, trying to get decent photos, without anyone ushering us on to the next location! (Still working on the giraffe photos; they were so far away today).
The first animals we saw this morning were a family of elephants! It was the perfect way to start the day. I must admit, a highlight though, was watching baboons get it on next to our car.
We have two more days in the park! We will drive around different parts each day. I hope tomorrow we will see some big cats, preferably eating something. And I definitely need more time with giraffes. (maybe/maybe not in a lion’s mouth). #nature
An unfortunate bird got a soaking when it was sneezed on by a giraffe. The unlucky oxpecker was clearly in the wrong place at the wrong time and caught in a jet of drool when the giraffe seemingly let out a massive sneeze. Amateur photographer, Lisl Moolman was photographing animals at a waterhole in Kruger National Park South Africa when she captured the funny moment on camera. Picture: LISL MOOLMAN / CATERS NEWS
Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta) by Brendon White Via Flickr: This is one of three very curious pups we had investigating our car. I didn’t manage to capture it too well but there was a steady drizzle coming down at the time.
Lappet-faced, white-backed and Cape vultures squabble over a carcass at Sable Dam, Kruger national park, South Africa. These three species are declining at a rate of 80%–92% over three generations (about 45–55 years), a study suggests. An international team of researchers, including leading scientists from the University of St Andrews, the Hawk Conservancy Trust and the University of York, say African vultures are likely to qualify as ‘critically endangered’ under the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s global threat criteria.