THE KORI BUSTARD

The Kori Bustard is an omnivore and one of the heaviest birds on the African continent. In fact, some birds have been found to weigh almost 20 kilograms.

Due to their large size and confidence, you’re likely to spot kori bustards quite easily when driving in the game parks. This is a terrestrial bird that is characterised by its long neck and feet, and the black crest on top of its head. Each eye is highlighted by a white strip above it. The top, visible part of the body is brown, while the underside is a lighter cream colour. The shoulders are highlighted with a black and white checked pattern. Because they are so heavy, Kori Bustards opt for walking; flying only when it is absolutely necessary. Still, when they do fly, their true power is witnessed as they glide through the African skies almost effortlessly. Their walk is elegant and slow.

HABITAT

The Kori Bustard lives in open plains and grassy savannahs, preferably with some trees and shrubbery. However, in some cases, they may be found in more arid areas. Essentially, the Kori Bustard prefers a habitat that is open enough for them to gauge their surroundings at all times. This bird does not tend to migrate unless food and water is in scarce supply.

DISTRIBUTION

The Kori Bustard can be found in South Africa and its surrounding countries (Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana), as well as in East Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania). The spectacular Etosha National Park (Namibia) and the Serengeti National Park (Tanzania) are both home to this species.

DIET

As an omnivore, the Kori Bustard feeds on berries, as well as little animals (including snakes and lizards), while juveniles feed mainly on protein-rich insects. Interestingly, the Kori Bustard drinks by sucking the water up, as opposed to using its bill to scoop it.

SOCIALISATION

The Kori Bustard tends to stay in one area for as long as food and water resources are plentiful, rather than migrating. These birds are happy to amble the savannahs on their own, but are also often seen in groups or pairs. When faced with danger, the Kori Bustard will try to leave on foot before resorting to flight. As a group, they walk slowly and in a loose line across the grasslands as they forage for food.

COMMUNICATION

To woo the female, the male Bustard will ruffle its feathers and inflate its neck, performing a dance to impress her. They can also inflate their bill, and make a loud noise, while she takes notice of his efforts.

LIFE EXPECTANCY

Although it has not been established in the wild, Kori Bustards have been observed to reach between 26 and 28 years in captivity.

PREDATORS

The Kori Bustard’s numbers are in gradual decline, but they are still readily found in the wild. Humans are their largest threat, as their habitat is endangered by urban development and pollution. They are also victims of hunting.

When you see a Kori Bustard for the first time you will be shocked at the size and amazing he/she is. They are so beautiful.

REFERENCES

Krugerpark; National Zoo and arkive.org.

ELEGANT GIRAFFES

In the bush, you will come across the beautiful Giraffe, fascinating tall, slender elegant beautiful animal, some top ten facts about these graceful creatures. I don’t know of anyone that does not love the Giraffe.

Team Personal Collection by Thompsons Africa adore giraffes.

  • Giraffes are found in the dry savannas of Africa, where they roam among the open plains and woodlands.
  • Well known for their long necks, these gentle giants are the world’s tallest living land animals. An adult male can grow to around 5.5m – that’s taller than three adult humans!
  • A giraffe’s height is helpful for keeping a look out for predators, such as lions and hyenas. Their excellent eyesight allows them to spot hungry beasts from far away, too.
  • Herbivores, giraffes only eat plants. Their favourite grub is the acacia tree, and they use their long necks to reach the leaves and buds in the treetops. Their long tongues (which grow to a whopping 53cm!) also help them pull down leaves growing way up high.
  • And boy do these guys have an appetite! They spend most of their time eating, and can guzzle up to 45kg of leaves and twigs a day!
  • Whilst they may eat a lot, giraffes don’t drink much water. This is because they get most of their water from their leafy meals, and only need to drink once every few days.
  • Giraffes are very social animals and roam around in groups. These groups, called towers, typically have around 15 members led by an adult male. The other members are females and young males.
  • To see who is stronger, males (called bulls) fight by butting their long necks and heads. This is known as “necking “. These fights aren’t usually dangerous, and end when one bull admits defeat and walks away.
  • Female giraffes give birth standing up. The result? New-borns are welcomed to the world with a 1.5m drop to the ground! Ouch! But these infants are quick to get on their feet – within 30 minutes they are standing, and only hours later they’re able to run with their mothers.
  • In the wild these beautiful creatures live for around 25 years. In captivity they live longer, and have been known to reach 40 years old.

 

GENTLE GIANTS – GIRAFFES

Here are some really fun facts about this elegant mammal found in Africa.  Giraffes are fascinating, ferocious and fancy creatures, that can be watched for hours.

Giraffes are found in the dry savannas of Africa, where they roam among the open plains and woodlands.

Well known for their long necks, these gentle giants are the world’s tallest living land animals. An adult male can grow to around 5.5m – that’s taller than three adult humans!

A giraffe’s height is helpful for keeping a look out for predators, such as lions and hyenas. Their excellent eyesight allows them to spot hungry beasts from far away, too.

Herbivores, giraffes only eat plants. Their favourite grub is the acacia tree, and they use their long necks to reach the leaves and buds in the treetops. Their long tongues (which grow to a whopping 53cm!) also help them pull down leaves growing way up high.

And boy do these guys have an appetite! They spend most of their time eating and can guzzle up to 45kg of leaves and twigs a day!

Whilst they may eat a lot, giraffes don’t drink much water. This is because they get most of their water from their leafy meals, and only need to drink once every few days.

Giraffes are very social animals and roam around in groups. These groups, called towers, typically have around 15 members led by an adult male. The other members are females and young males.

To see who is stronger, males (called bulls) fight by butting their long necks and heads. This is known as “necking“. These fights aren’t usually dangerous, and end when one bull admits defeat and walks away.

Female giraffes give birth standing up. The result? Newborns are welcomed to the world with a 1.5m drop to the ground! Ouch! But these infants are quick to get on their feet – within 30 minutes they are standing, and only hours later they”re able to run with their mothers.

In the wild these beautiful creatures live for around 25 years. In captivity they live longer and have been known to reach 40 years old.

 

BREAKFAST AT ELLERMAN HOUSE

The most important meal of the day.

As the mist and cold rainy weather rolled into Bantry Bay, I sat in an elegant chair with the most beautiful art, sipping on my cuppa tea.  White table cloths ironed so perfectly, silver cutlery shining reflecting the chandeliers and even spoilt for choice of many daily international and local newspapers to read.  As a guest who is on a luxurious holiday would want to perhaps browse through or just veg and watch as winter takes its course, bringing us glorious rain.  Rain that Cape Town so desperately needs.

You are warm as all the fires are lit, the staff smile and everything is so effortless.  You have a delicious choice of breakfast, from freshly cut fruit, to home baked pastries, jams and the most divine juices. Hot breakfast although has the usual suspects, had some really enticing and exciting choices therefore we suggest at least a seven-night stay.  As you would need to try almost all of them!

I sipped on “Red Juice” made from beetroot, red apple, cranberry and ginger. A healthy start to the day!  A perfect kick before day tour.

Sometimes pictures are so much better than words.

This is why Personal Collection by Thompsons Africa , choose to put our special guests at this home away from home, we try and test it and Ellerman house always excels and super exceeds our expectations.