On a recent afternoon game drive while viewing a male and a female lion, I suddenly noticed hundreds of winged termites in the air, also called Alates. After heavy rains in the summer they emerge in their thousands, from two of these a new colony will eventually start, but there are a host of predators poised to take advantage of this windfall. Among them several birds like hornbills, buzzards, toads, frogs, predatory insects and even carnivores like Jackal. While in the lion sighting we saw a host of yellow billed hornbills and starlings on the ground feeding hopping around frantically picking up termites-exactly the reason why the termites swarm off in great numbers is to ensure the survival of a species one of the rangers commented on them as being “dinner on the wing”even!
Sebastiaan Jansen van Vuuren
Kapama Main Lodge