The middle to the west of Etosha is known for its large herds of Springboks. With the plains having plenty of food after the good rains, one finds them everywhere. They gather in small herds, but they are mostly dotted everywhere on and off the roads, of then seemingly lots in their own thoughts as the stare into the distance.
At one point we found a mother with twins, at another a still unsure little one was tottering along after his mother.
It must have been a good breeding season in Etosha because the youngsters are everywhere. They look fat and healthy – the Springbok population of Etosha is in good nick. The Springbok is fast and when they run they cover huge jumps. This is their best weapon against those animals who prey on them. This morning we saw four take off when they were scared by a group of boisterous zebras.
When they run and jump, they open up their plum which is brilliant white and can be easily noted.
[divider]The cousin of the Springbok is the black faced impala whom one also find over vast areas of Etosha. At Olifantsbad the males were particularly boisterous, forever chasing intruders and trying to impress the ladies. During the fights between males they would deploy their plumes at the tail and all one sees is a ball of white plume waving around as they go one their pursuit of the intruders.
Springboks, zebras and rooibokke are everywhere and the landscape is dotted with lone blouwildebeest bulls who stood lonely as they wait for passing herds. Then, in a flurry of great excitement they try to separate some of the ladies from the herd and form a new herd. The fact is that by this stage of their lives they are past their best and are easily countered by the more agile bulls in the herd who do not allow intruders. The battle is usually swift and sweet and the old bulls are left standing, grumpy and cross, and lonely, waiting for the next herd to pass by. It is an eternal play, every day the same in the life of the blouwildebeest.
Then there are the elephants and the lions, but that is for a next story.