11 August 2014 by Lethabo-Thabo Royds

Close encounters

Here are a few of our favourite close-up images of animals that have been shared with our Love South Africa Flickr group.

Ostrich in Oudtshoorn. Image courtesy of Jens Niere

A few hours from Johannesburg is the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, where this red-billed oxpecker (below) was photographed. Red-billed oxpeckers prey on insects on the hides of their host animals (often antelope, buffalos, rhinos and domestic cattle).

Red-billed oxpecker in the Pilanesberg. Image courtesy of tdwrsa

'A very distinctive and beautiful antelope,' writes Sheldrickfalls, the photographer of the sable below. We could not agree more.

Sable at the Kudu Private Nature Reserve. Image courtesy of Sheldrickfalls

We also love this photo of a twin-dotted border butterfly in the Kudu Private Nature Reserve.

Twin-dotted border in the Kudu Private Nature Reserve. Image courtesy of Sheldrickfalls

This great image of a female impala was captured in the Kruger National Park. If you've ever wondered about the colour of an impala's tongue, the caption provided by Piet Grobler, the photographer of the photo below, gives an answer: 'If anyone had sleepless nights not knowing the colour of an impala's tongue, you can sleep tight in future because here is the answer!! The tongue is dark blue!'

Impala in the Kruger National Park. Image courtesy of Piet Grobler

We love that Ann Cameron, the photographer of the photo below, will be returning to South Africa and is counting down the days until she returns: '7 weeks today we will be on our way to South Africa. I can't wait to see the animals in the wild again. This photo was taken during our trip back in 2012 – zebra are my favourite African animals.'

Zebra in the Kruger National Park. Image courtesy of Ann Cameron

Bateleur eagles are beautifully coloured birds of prey; the adults are black with red faces, differentiating them from younger birds, whose plumage is brown until maturity. This photo was taken at the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre in Hoedspruit, Limpopo.

Bateleur eagle, Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre. Image courtesy of José Carlos Babo

To end off are two beautiful photos of a lioness in the Kruger National Park.

Image courtesy of Sheldrickfalls
Image courtesy of Sheldrickfalls

Why not share your photos with the Love South Africa Flickr group? We would love to see them, and may include them in one of our blogs.

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