After choosing Thuru Lodge as the perfect destination for your photographic safari, the next step will be to choose the time of the year that will give you the best opportunities in order to get the pictures that you are after.
As Thuru Lodge is situated in the Northern Cape Province, we have a summer rainfall that usually starts in January and lasts until about the end of March. For the last few years, we did however get some rain even in May.
The best thing for us in summer, even though you might encounter some rain, is that the grasses are green and the land looks lively. Also, most of the animals have babies, which makes it a great opportunity to get some amazing photographs of animals with their offspring.
Here are some examples and interesting facts of animals that you will find on your photographic safari with us.
The Buffalo, is not only part of the Big 5, but they are one of the most abundant of Africa’s large herbivores. They almost look like big cows and can weigh up to 1500 pounds with a life span of about 20 years. The females takes 4 to 5 years to mature before they can have their first calf, after a gestation period of 11 to 12 months. They mostly calf in the rainy season, when there are enough green grasses to provide the necessary nutrition for the mother and her newborn baby, that is suckled up to 12 months of age. An interesting fact about buffalo is that their sight and hearing senses are quite poor, but they can smell very good.
As the world’s tallest mammal the Giraffe can reach a height of 18 feet. They are very interesting animals, as they are uniquely built to adapt to their unique physique. An interesting fact is that they have unusually elastic blood vessels that protects them from a sudden build-up of blood and to prevent fainting when its head moves up and down or in different directions. They feed between 16 to 20 hours per day, but they are able to survive in areas where water is scarce and will only drink water when available. A baby giraffe is about 6 feet tall when it is born, but grows rapidly, even as much as one inch per day. They start eating leaves at about 2 months of age and by the age of 6 months, they are fairly independent. Here at Thuru Lodge, after drought, it has happened that a baby was born when the rain season started, but that there was not enough green trees for the Mother to be able to get all of the nutrition to be able to feed the baby, and the mother died, but the baby was strong enough to survive on its own and the rest of the herd took care of the baby.
The Eland is the world’s largest antelope and even with their very big bodies, they can jump a 2.4 metre fence from a still standing position. You will also discover they they are always trotting and according to sources, they can trot like this indefinitely. Males and females have horns, but the males’ horns are thicker, whereas the female have thinner and longer horns. They have a gestation period of 280 days and calves are weaned at 3 months.
As an animal indigenous to the Kalahari, the Springbuck flourish here at Thuru Lodge. The females have their babies also after summer rains after a gestation period of 5 to 6 months. A unique feature of the Springbok is their pronk. It is a gesture where they take multiple jumps up in the air that can be up to 2 metres high, with their backs arched and the white hair on their back is lifted up. This is a unique feature that makes an excellent photo and only captured by few photographers. We also offer 4 different type of springbuck, the common, copper, black and white springbuck.
The Roan Antelope is also one of Africa’s biggest antelope and the only other animals bigger is the Buffalo and the Eland. Roans do not have fixed territories, but males are dominant of a herd, and will fight other bulls that tries to come close to the cows that is part of his herd. A herd consist of one bull with anything from 6 to 20 cows. The Roan cows have a gestation period of about 9 months and they hide their young after the birth and will not wander too far away from them. With their huge ears and big bodies, they make very beautiful photographs.
This is only some of the animals that will make your journey to Thuru Lodge a very memorable one. As we have 28 different species and a variety of vegetation, you will be sure to get some excellent photographic opportunities. Like we described, after the summer rainfall, everything is green and full of life, as well as our herd of animals with their offspring, and therefore, we recommend that you visit us from February to about May to be able to get some of the best pictures.
Elliott Erwitt once said: “To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”