Izilwane Zasendle~

This Zulu phrase means wild animals. There are about 12,000 white, and 627 black rhinos in Kruger National Park. This one is looking at you for protection!
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Leopards in Kruger are rare and rarely seen.
We were very lucky to see this one! The Kruger population is estimated at approximately 1000, although they are hard to count, because they are hard to find.
1,700 lions are thought to live in Kruger.
There are about 37,000 cape buffalo, and yes this one is sleeping. They do that a lot in water holes!
There are only around 300 nyala. This is a male and two females. Quite a sighting of beautiful, shy, creatures! (Late addition: My blogging friend Quiall, see comments, found a baby nyala’s legs in this photo that I didn’t see. Count the legs and you’ll find the baby!)
2000 warthogs,
5000 waterbuck,
over 127,000 impala,
and more than 8,000 kudu call Kruger home. A trip to Kruger is an incredible experience and aids the park’s impressive wildlife conservation efforts.
Estimates, calculated between 2008 and 2009. Read more about Kruger’s animals and conservation efforts at: http://www.mediaclubsouthafrica.com/visitsa/1825-240610-kruger-park#ixzz3duwscq1H
Cheers to you from Kruger’s spectacular izilwane zasendle~

215 thoughts on “Izilwane Zasendle~

    1. Well he’s a she, and I agree with you. The male kudu is spectacular looking with this remarkable black cap going down to his eyes and then spiraling, long horns. Most impressive! The female, although beautiful, is much less dramatic, and I think, like you, more soulful and intelligent looking. But maybe I just have a tad of female bias? Nah…….’ya think??? πŸ˜‰

    1. Yes, it stretched the limits of my telephoto because it was obstructed by brush, but it was clearly visible and we watched him for quite awhile. It was a thrill~

    1. They are just amazing creatures. So incredibly powerful, capable of doing serious damage, but so mellow most of the time. Often sleeping! Very happy you like him~

  1. These pics r masterpieces…a peek into a world few of us will ever see, thanks for taking us with u on your adventure..these animals are beautifulπŸ’“β€οΈπŸ˜˜

      1. I love animals waaaay more than most peopleπŸ˜‰πŸ˜πŸ»β€οΈπŸ°πŸ­πŸΉπŸ―πŸ°πŸ‘πŸ£πŸ¦πŸ—πŸΆπŸΊπŸ±πŸ¨πŸπŸˆπŸΆthey are certainly more honest and trustworthy…and they have as much if not more right to live and love as we do

      2. I get surprised when people comment about how dangerous a particular animal might be. Of course it is potentially true, particularly if your don’t respect the animal’s space and body language, but I was a psychotherapist and mental health director for 27 years and people are much more dangerous than wild animals. Wild animals are a cake walk compared to some of the very dangerous people I have evaluated. Of course, most people are wonderful, but the ones that aren’t are much more scary than any wild animal.

    1. I wish everyone would and could. It is such a remarkable experience. It makes you feel tied and connected to all creatures on this planet. There was never any fear, just wonder, everyday!

    1. Plus this is just a small portion to fit in a post. Kruger just teems with wildlife. I am so grateful Paul Kruger had the wisdom to set it apart as a national park. It is the size of New Jersey!

    1. I am so glad you had a chance to experience this. We went the first time and had to come back for more, even though it involves 44 hours of flying per trip and I do not like flying!

  2. Love all of these. We went on safari last year, and I have so many pictures, I haven’t even sorted them yet. Kudos to you for organizing and looking up the stats that bring your pics to life. My favorite shot is the one of the impala. He was still for you!!!

    1. I adore the impalas. People tend to overlook them because they are so prevalent, but every photo I have of them, they are lookiing straight at me and either smiling or talking like this guy is! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  3. These are stunning images of these majestic creatures, Cindy. Great details. How did you take these photo? Were you closed or far from a distance?

    1. Different distances my camera has an adjustable normal to 1200mm equivalent zoom. In Kruger you can drive right up next to a rhino or elephant or lion and also photograph them from a distance from a bridge or observation deck. You can see animals up close in hides or hikes. You can pass right by rhinos and elephants etc on walking safaris. It is quite eerie at first. I had a baboon chase me. He wanted me off the path!

  4. Yes, the sad thing is that the rhino looks to humans to protect it. What have we done to this world? Love the sleeping buffalo, the warthog and actually all your photographs! Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Yes, it is particularly heartbreaking to spend time among these animals and see how peaceable and happy they are, and then realize there are whole species you are not even seeing because we have obliterated them. We have a whole lot to account for as a species. We are way too destructive in big and little ways……

      1. Agreed. Then there are these crazy videos of people keeping wild animals in their homes and ‘domesticating’ them. People think they are cute, but my husband and I look at the animal’s eyes and just feel sad :*(

    1. Another psychic blogger! I just got it back from the repair shop good as new. Another blogger knew the Holler’s internet was malfunctioning which it has never done before and is still doing. Amazing!

  5. Such gorgeous creatures! It is sad to think their numbers are so low that we can count them.
    Kudos to all who are working to protect them!

    1. I just repeated what you said because it is so perceptive. Yes, all these animals should have larger populations, but you are right, Kruger is actively involved in conservation and numbers have improved for many species since the 08/9 counts, so there is reason for hope and gratitude~

  6. Awww, what a wonderful representation of the variety of life (and summary of the dire straits they’re in, population-wise) in that region of the world! I hope that tons of people around the world see this post. Beautiful work (great close-ups!) as always Cindy! <3 ~Lynn

    1. Is is sad to think that the numbers are so low that we can count them as another blogger just said to me. Nyalas should be in huge herds. But the good news is that since these 2008/9 counts, many of Kruger’s wildlife counts have improved. They are comitted to conservation and it shows!

      1. Yes, I totally agree with everything you said! Glad to hear that there are people so committed to conservation there! That’s very heartening news.

      2. It is and it is also why I feel so good about supporting the park and the efforts of the African administrators, staff and rangers. It is run by locals and it is their park. I like this.

  7. Β‘QuΓ© buena colecciΓ³n de fotos! A mi siempre me ha llamado la atenciΓ³n el aspecto tosco y pΓ©treo de los rinocerontes. El bΓΊfalo estΓ‘ imponente…, y a todos los animales se les ve sanos y felices. Gracias por dejarnos disfrutar estas maravillas de la naturaleza. <3

  8. Awesome animal photos! I love how it looks like the Impala is smirking at you, or giving you a crooked smile! Pretty cool pic of the buffalo sleeping! He sure knows how to stay cool! Hugz Lisa and Bear

  9. Those figures are quite frightening when compared with how many used to roam these areas. They certainly need all the help they can get to preserve these wonderful and beautiful animals. Thank you for showing us such amazing animals Cindy.

    1. Wow, pretty amazing. I hope it works! It needs an ad campaign though, emphasizing it is more effective than rhino horn in making the rhino horn customers errrr……. horny. God, humans can be so stupid……

  10. I know that rhino
    I see him wherever I go
    He instinctively seems to know
    Impala…, I didn’t see any of that model at the GMC dealer yesterday…???
    Does a lion ever tell you the truth? …or is he just lion?
    That kudu does doo doo while practicing hoodoo…!
    Wait a minute…, did that leopard change his spots…, or what !!!
    Welcome back Cuz. Looking forward to more memories of your trip. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    1. People don’t want to embrace the concept of how harmful we humans can actually be to each other, to the planet, and all it’s creatures. I’m not Catholic but The Pope just said this so very eloquently. Happy Friday Sheri~

  11. You were so lucky to have a leopard sighting! They are so difficult to find. In my 8 years in Africa, and numerous safaris, we saw a leopard “properly” only twice. A few times we only saw a tail in the bush πŸ™‚ Thanks for all your wonderful photos from the beautiful Kruger park.Their conservation efforts are commendable!

    1. We actually had two sightings, but one was a leopard resting in a bush. You could see some bits of orange and black and a tail that occasionally flicked but that was it. You can get better sightings (and photos) in the leopard reserves, but I prefer it more natural. If you see one great, but if not, there is so much else to see. Still people did see the wild dog packs. That would be a thrill. This is the deal with Africa. There is always more to see!!

  12. Your photos are unbelievable! The way you just gaze into the eyes of the bucks and kudu! πŸ™‚ And I love the way a big cat lies so gracefully in a tree. As if he belonged there! Happy weekend, Cindy πŸ™‚

  13. This is Joe speaking.

    This is amazing. It’s nice to see animals being protected. Hopefully their numbers multiply. πŸ™‚

  14. Enjoyed your great pics Cindy, really a bad scenario that there is only 1000 Leopards in the park.
    Kruger park must cover a vast area and really needs support in keeping these great creatures in a safe environment, the poor old Rhino is a victim of poachers after his tusk, the Elephant and his tusks, these animals need maximum protection by all nations.

  15. Moving beautiful and sad. The shots are lovely, as are the animals captured in them and the sense of sadness that so much about them and their habitat has been destroyed my our mindless aggression and need to “civilise” everything

    1. We really have colosally messed up this planet and all of it’s inhabitants haven’t we. We have too much to account for as a species. We are too destructive.

    1. Can you believe Quiall found that for us? When I saw that I was blown away! So glad you found the baby too. They were using all three bodies to protect him!! <3 <3

  16. Stunning pics, Cindy. I’ve been recently watching a show called Big Cat Diaries. An English crew documenting their time in Africa while following Leopards, Lions and Cheetahs. I’ve enjoyed it so much, learning about these cats; how the live, their instincts, how family oriented they are. It’s awesome for me to see them through your eyes. Makes it feel more real for me. Is that crazy?!! lol Lovely and sharing it now. πŸ˜‰ xoxo

    1. I am pretty much addicted to seeing & photographing wild animal eyes, especially when they look directly at me, which they do all the time. You need a telephoto to see how often wild animals are looking directly at you. It is the most amazing feeling of communion to look right back at them. The other things that compels me is the complete diffference in the eyes of a wild animal in comparison to a domestic or zoo animal. There is really no comparison. The wild animal eyes are so alert, so bright, so alive, and not depressed. Zoo animals have depressed eyes.

  17. What gorgeous creatures and your beautiful photos and words reflect their vulnerability to human encroachment and worse. This has been a lovely trip to parts of Africa – thank you.

    1. I know, Unreal and wonderful! They are quite sparse in Kruger. You can see them more easily at leopard perserves, but it isn’t the same as spotting a truly wild one. Half the fun is beating the odds!

  18. That leopard seems to be having a great time, just up there in the shade taking a nap…..he seemed quite comfortable……until you found him and disturb his sleep!! You are lucky to find one then, how many times to you go to SafariΒ΄s ? Just curious with all the picΒ΄s and all, don`t have to answer.

    1. Yes, leopards chill out a lot after they gorge, often in trees. We actually saw two on this trip, but only one was photograhable. We have been to Africa two separate times. Both times to South Africa, spending most of our time in Kruger, and self driving each time. We stay in, and around the park, and do some ranger led game drives and walking safaris with rangers. But mosly we go on our own and prefer it this way. On our first trip my son came with us. Each trip is 22 hours of flying one way!!! Since I hate to fly, you can imagine how much I love Africa!

  19. Wonderful shots and an adventure for sure! Impalas are very elegant and I love buffalos. My husband went last year but wasn’t lucky enough to see any leopard – congratulations!

  20. The leopard was the only one that eluded us. We caught a glipse of one, but by the time I had the camera up, it had slid down the tree trunk into the brush. As to those impala, after two days they looked like white tail deer along the freeways on the East Coast.

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