Some of the questions that we get asked the most is the gestation periods and how many young each animal gives birth to.
So today I am going to give you a list of some of the animals of the gestation and number of births per animal:
Animal: Gestation: Number of young:
Vervet monkey 5 ½ months 1
Baboon 6 months 1
Pangolin 4 ½ months 1
Porcupine 94 days 1 – 3
African Wild Dog 70 days 2 -21
Black backed jackal 60 days 1 – 6
Honey badger 6 months 1 – 4
Dwarf mongoose 63 days 2 – 3
Spotted hyena 90 days 1 – 2
Lion 110 days 1 – 4 (6)
Leopard 100 days 2 – 3
Cheetah 95 days 1 – 6
Elephants 22 months 1
White Rhino 16 months 1
Giraffe 15 months 1
Impala 7 months 1
Blue wildebeest 9 months 1
Waterbuck 9 months 1
Nyala 7 ½ moths 1
Kudu 9 months 1
Zebra 375 days 1
Stefan De Weerd – Kapama River Lodge
This afternoon, my guests were specifically interested in seeing the hippo, therefore, I make it my priority to try and find a couple. We searched from dam to dam and luckily just as the sun was setting we found a few in the water. I told my guests that this is the time of day when they start coming out of the water to graze. One by one, they came out of the water. Shortly afterwards, a big herd of elephants came to join.
The hippos started opening their mouths as wide as they can in order to show off their massive incisors – this is what they do in order to intimidate other animals. However, the elephants did not seem to be bothered by the hippos – they are, after all, the biggest land animals. The elephants just became more aggressive and started trumpeting and running towards the hippos. The hippos were left with no choice but to run into the water for safety.
Unfortunately for the hippos, elephants are not afraid of water – one of the elephants followed the hippos into the water and forced them to get out on the other side of the dam. All the young elephants were having a blast as they were the ones antagonising the poor hippos.
My guests and I had an amazing sighting and couldn’t believe our eyes.
Nelson – Kapama River Lodge
We had a good morning on safari. We watched a herd of elephants drinking and swimming in a watering hole – something that is quite exciting to see. We watched them for quite some time and then decided to stop for a quick coffee break.
While chatting to the guests, I heard some birds giving their alarm call in a nearby tree. So I decided to investigate. The birds were blue waxbills and they were sitting in a buffalo thorn, screaming and shouting at something. As I looked at the one branch, I saw a snake and called over my guests to show them.
The snake was busy eating one of the chicks out of the nest. It was sad but it was interesting to see how the rest of the blue waxbills started to attack the snake with full force. The blue waxbill is a very small bird and to see the courage of such a small creature was quite amazing to see.
My guests were also intrigued by this behvaiour.
It was good to see that guests can also enjoy the smaller things in the African bush.
Harry – Kapama River Lodge
Some interesting facts about interesting things that we don’t see too often. For example FISH. We don’t see them on drive, we know they are there, but some people are unaware of them.
First of all, fish are cold blooded (ectothermic) – they do not regulate their own heat. They play a great ecological role, such as; they regulate the amount of bacteria and algae in dams or rivers and they also serve as a very big food source.
But what I find most interesting is their swim bladder.
The swim bladder is what they use to keep them sinking by secreting gas into the swim bladder via a gas gland. Gas from the blood is moved into the gas gland and when they need to sink they release gas and when they need to rise they secrete gas. Some fish are a bit more basic and rely on getting gas by surfacing, grabbing air and releasing air. These fish generally can’t go as deep into the water as the more advanced fish.
Even though they are “below the surface”, they are still there and serve an extremely important purpose in nature.
Jakes – Kapama River Lodge
After almost three years of not seeing them, we happen to be lucky to have them visiting Kapama – this is what some call the cape hunting dog or painted dogs. The common name, the African wild dog. It is always great to see this highly endangered animal but especially when we get to witness what they do best – hunting.
We were following the wild dogs while they were chasing some impala up and down. They eventually caught one and started eating while the impala was still fighting back. Unfortunately, the impala could not get away and the dogs managed to kill another. However, it was still amazing to see how just 14 wild dogs finished, not one, but two fully grown impalas in just 30 minutes.
We were so excited so we tried to follow them further as they finished their meal. Unfortunately, the bush got rather thick so we decided to leave them in peace. What a sighting it was. This was truly something that other rangers would only dream to see.
Nelson – Kapama River Lodge