19 February 2013 by Kate Turkington

Buck baby boom

The summer months of November, December, January and February are buck baby-boom time, when you’ll see hundreds of baby antelopes all over the bush.

A baby blue wildebeest

My family and I were recently in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve in North West province, and it’s that time of year when buck babies boom. Baby antelopes of all kinds are pronking, bouncing, mooching and playing all over the bush, which is looking lush and green after all the recent rains.

We oohed and aahed over shaggy baby waterbuck, colourful baby red hartebeest and fragile-looking baby impala. Even the baby blue wildebeests looked cuddly – something of a surprise when mum and dad, the adults, are counted among South Africa’s ‘Ugly Five’.


										This bay impala was probably born in November – baby boom time for impalas

Problem is, all these babies make great predator takeaways. All the lions we saw were looking very sleek and well fed, and didn’t need to travel far for a snack.

Pilanesberg Game Reserve is an easy drive just over two hours by road from Johannesburg and well worth a visit. Take your own vehicle or go on a guided game drive from adjacent Sun City or any of the Pilanesberg lodges or camps.

On one of our game drives we popped into the recently refurbished and restored 1936 Pilanesberg Centre, where you can have a drink, a snack and buy curios.

Even the baby blue wildebeests looked cuddly – something of a surprise when mum and dad, the adults, are counted among South Africa’s ‘Ugly Five’.

There’s a salt lick and small dam in front of the huge open verandah where the plains animals come to drink and browse – a great place to sit and watch the passing baby show.

As we drove back to Kwa Maritane, where we were staying, we found another baby, a bit bigger than its antelope cousins – a mother and baby white rhino were having their evening mud bath.


										This baby white rhino had been dipping his nose into a muddy dam

Category: Wildlife


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