Photo Blog: 5 Animals After DarkFebruary 28, 2017
When planning a holiday to one of our continent’s many fantastic getaways, it’s important to remember that the African bush never sleeps.
Don’t think that your days have to start at sunrise and end with sundowners. Under the cover of darkness you can experience a whole new side of the bush and its inhabitants.
Here are 5 of our favourite wildlife photographs captured at night:
This magnificent specimen was photographed at Lake Mburo, Uganda. While leopards can be seen during the day, they are most active at night, emerging from the bush to hunt from around late afternoon until shortly after dawn. While you may be lucky enough to see one chasing down a kill on the ground, you would do best to keep your eyes in the trees as leopards love to find a handy branch to eat their kill on.
The world’s wild elephant population dwindles by the day. To see them in their natural habitat is something truly spectacular. This herd was photographed in Abedares National Park, Kenya. Elephants are neither nocturnal or diurnal – they are cathemeral, meaning they are equally active during the day and night. Their eyesight is so good that they can see clearly even in the dimmest light – you won’t be catching these guys unawares in the dark very easily.
3. Spring Hare
This odd looking creature is a Spring Hare and was photographed near the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Although, you’re forgiven if you thought you were looking at a long-lost creature from down under, as they look like the unlikely combination of a kangaroo and rabbit, and can even jump up to 3m! They are however nocturnal rodents found mostly in south-eastern Africa in dry, sandy expanses. Spring hares don’t drink much as they get most of their fluid through rain and dew, but they have been known to travel up to 30km, in times of drought, in search of water.
Also from the Okavango Delta is this female lion. You may spot these majestic beasts during the day but chances are they’ll be snoozing in the shade. If you spot them at night they are also likely to be snoozing despite being nocturnal like all big cats. This is because lions sleep for up to 20 hours a day. They are also the most sociable of the big cats and live in large family groups comprising of females, their young, and a dominant male. Males spend their time defending their territory against rival males, females do most of the hunting.
5. African Civet
The African Civet leads a very secretive lifestyle and spotting one isn’t ever easy. This African civet was captured in the Okavango Delta – an area that offers this creature the perfect habitat. African Civets can live in both open and forested country, so long as it’s not too dry, but they prefer to live near to a permanent water sources. Although they live most of their lives on the ground, they can swim very well and take to the water with ease when the need arises. These creatures are most active shortly after dark when they come out to feed so that would be the best time to seek them out.
While none of these amazing animals will make it easy for you to spot them in the dark, sighting any (or all) is well worth the effort. So, next time you’re in the bush, ditch the sundowners, grab a midnight snack instead, and head out to experience a whole new type of nightlife.
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