Natural Phenomena

    Natural Phenomena

    Adventure across Africa

    A safari to Africa could and should be more than about chasing sightings of the illustrious Big Five. The continent is rich in experiences consisting of countless equally impressive natural phenomena. This grandest of all natural spectacles is undoubtedly the Great Migration in Tanzania and Kenya and wildlife phenomena that safari-goers have to experience at least once in their lifetime.

    Described as the Greatest Shoal on Earth, the annual sardine run along the coastlines of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa, is as unique a wildlife safari as there is. Safari aficionados will be tickled pink by the feathered features of the flocks of greater and lesser flamingos congregating around bodies of water all across Africa.

    The sky over Zambia is the backdrop to a wildlife phenomenon as more than 10 million straw-coloured fruit bats descend on the Kasanka National Park in an explosion of sight and sound. The magical meeting point of the different ocean currents along the African coastline is the prime spot for safari-goers wishing to get a closer look at the hatching of the continent’s sea turtles.

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    The Great Migration

    This greatest of all natural spectacles is a wildlife phenomenon that safari-goers have to experience at least once in their lifetime. Starting in the Ngorongoro area in the south of the Serengeti in Tanzania, it loops clockwise towards and through the Maasai Mara in Kenya before twisting and turning back to where it all started.

    Driven and dictated by the rain, the Great Migration is regarded as the biggest overland event of its kind anywhere in the world with 1 300 000 wildebeest, 200 000 zebra and 500 000 Thomson’s gazelles tempting fate in search of greener pastures. Following close behind within sniffing distance or waiting on the horizon with gaping mouths, predators like lions, hyenas and crocodiles are all eager to stake their claim in this journey of life and death.

    Sardine Run

    Described as the Greatest Shoal on Earth, the annual sardine run along the coastlines of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa is as unique a wildlife safari as there is to be undertaken. Millions of these migrating fish create an adrenaline rush for spectators and participants alike. These masses of sardines stretch to lengths of more than seven kilometres long, almost two kilometres wide and nearly 30 meters deep. This ingrained behaviour is believed to act as a manner of self-preservation, but it’s a case of six of the one and half a dozen of the other and adds a unique twist to this safari outing.

    Bat Migration

    The sky over Zambia is the backdrop to a wildlife phenomenon that towers over the Great Migration in more ways than one. More than 10 million straw-coloured fruit bats descend on the Kasanka National Park and amass in an explosion of sight and sound for a rare safari experience.

    For 90 days during the latter parts of the year, the bats take over a swampy forest area in Kasanka. During dusk and dawn and from raised platforms and hides, visitors will be astounded at this marvellous sight as the bats leave and return to their roosting sites.

    Turtle Hatching

    The magical meeting point of the different ocean currents along the African coastline is the prime spot for safari-goers wishing to get a closer look at the hatching of the continent’s sea turtles. Loggerhead and leatherback turtles cross vast stretches of water to display their fondness for the warmer conditions in these regions.

    Visitors will stand astonished at the ability of both species to navigate their way around the globe. Leatherbacks find their way by way of the sun and their extremely accurate circadian rhythm. Loggerheads use their brains to tune into the earth’s magnetic field to move across vast distances. As critically endangered species, these animals rely on tourism to contribute to their future existence. Nesting sites and migration routes are protected through ecotourism ventures in all major nesting sites.

    Flamingo Flocks

    Safari aficionados will be tickled pink by the feathered features of the flocks of greater and lesser flamingos congregating around bodies of water all across Africa. Inhabiting some of the harshest environments on the continent, these birds are a pleasing and pleasant surprise for searching eyes.

    Preferring the shallow waters of lakes and wetlands where they can munch away on the special critters that give them their unique colour combination, flamingos move in solidarity as a method of protection. With only six flamingo species in the world, this experience should be on the must-see list of every birder.

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