The Best Seat in the House, Big Birds, Sunsets, & Headbutting Nyala.

The best seat in the house is actually not in a house, but is the tracker seat on the front of a game viewer.  Whenever an offer is made to do something new I generally say ‘Yes’, so leaped at the chance to sit in front of the bonnet on a game drive.   There is just a lap belt to keep you attached to the seat, and so with legs dangling and swinging like a young child I have enjoyed a couple of game drives with unrestricted views – Fantastic – I absolutely love it:)  There is nothing here (apart from leopard, and they tend to hide away) that may potentially see me as prey and make a leap out of the bushes to pick me off, so the biggest hazard is the Acacia tree with its long thorns, or dropping my camera! Sable-138

On one of these drives I had a front row seat watching a couple of adult male Nyalas vying for domination.  This involves them walking extremely slowly around each other like a dance, with the hair on their backs raised to make them look bigger, and the first one to walk away is the looser.  It doesn’t very often evolve to full blown fighting and is all very civilised.  This goes on for weeks during the rutting season, and the final ‘winner’ is the one who mates with the females.

I’ve finally managed to photograph the ostrich.  They look so comical when they run and also when they feed, especially from behind, as all you can see is a huge backside with a neck and head down on the ground.Sable-153 Sable-152 Sable-151 Sable-149

 

Sable Ranch is built on an area of granite, and there are huge boulders everywhere.  We drove up to one of the high points to watch the sunset and enjoy the spectacular views.

We have some Nyala that are currently in a Boma (holding enclosure) as they have been recently bought.  The other day I walked into the huge refrigeration room to get some apples & pears for the monkeys and had to step over a dead baby Nyala.  It was there until they could determine why it had died and when it was opened up,  it was found to have no milk at all in its stomach.  It’s thought that the stress of the transportation here has caused the mother’s milk to dry up.  There is one other baby in the same group, so we are giving it a bottle feed once a day to ensure that the same problem doesn’t occur again.  This is not easy however and takes four of us!  One to catch it, another to help him hold it down, one to hold up its neck and ensure it swallows, and another to actually feed it.  Whilst entering the boma one of the adults made a dash for freedom and I was standing in the doorway.  I tried to block it but its head bashed my legs and I was also possibly kicked in the shin too.  Needless to say I have a couple of massive bruises coming up – ouch.  The Nyala didn’t get far as the construction of the bomas has been well thought out, with passageways and doors that create small areas everywhere, and it wasn’t too hard to get it to run back inside.


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