Kalahari: Desert Babies

This is part of a series of photographs from our 2008 and 2009 trips to the Kalahari.  Click here to see a map of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Humans, whoever they are and wherever they live, want the same things for their offspring: to keep their babies safe and have them lead a happy, healthy life, with all the education advantages their parents can give them.

Well, it turns out animals aren’t too different. Every time we have visited the Kalahari it’s been somewhere during the months of September through October. Springtime here in Southern Africa. If there have been good rains during the previous summer, we see a lot of babies. And we see a lot of devoted parents taking care of them, fiercely protecting them, and trying to teach them the basics they will need to survive in such a harsh environment.

Here are three examples. The first is a baby Springbok. No, it’s not sitting there all alone, it’s surrounded by other baby Springbok in what resembles a nursery. The very young ones are resting in the center of a group of adult Springbok who are making sure that no predators can get close. The adults stand like sentries around the perimeter of the group facing outwards.

Baby Springbok (©2009 WMB)

The second are a couple of Spotted Hyena pups, with two adult females. It was difficult to see who the pups belonged to because both females were sharing in the parenting duties. Hyenas must be some of the ugliest, meanest animals in the African bush, but they are the most loving, patient mothers. These two let those pups climb all over them, and chew on them, without losing their tempers.

Hyenas with pups (©2009 WMB)

Hyena pups climbing over the adults (©2009 WMB)

Thirdly, we have two ostriches – a male and female – taking care of an extended brood. It redefines the phrase “big family”! Imagine running after that lot . . .

Ostrich family (©2009 WMB)

This is part of a series of photographs from our 2008 and 2009 trips to the Kalahari.  Click here to see a map of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.


About lisa@notesfromafrica

I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at http://notesfromafrica.wordpress.com and https://southerncape.wordpress.com (my photoblog)
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2 Responses to Kalahari: Desert Babies

  1. Les McLean says:

    Hi Lisa

    You have a great site and incredible pics,you were so lucky to see all that you did, especially the african wild cat with youngsters,and the Hyenas with pups
    We have never been up there and it high on the list of places to visit
    Les and Schalk

    • Hi Les and Schalk!

      Thanks for visiting my site. I appreciate your comments. We got very lucky with the animal sightings we had in 2009.

      I’ve still got a couple of posts to complete in this series. Including one on the wilderness camps where we stay – which I think you both may find interesting.


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