Mountain Zebra National Park Part 1

13th May 2017
It has been about 15 years since I last visited Mountain Zebra National Park , I remember I was still shooting with slide film !

We spent 3 nights in the park and we chose to stay in the Umthombo Mountain Cottage, a simple stone cottage bout 5 km away from the park Office, it is a stand alone cottage with no other people around and with no electricity, Solar lights and Gas for cooking and hot water, just perfect for us !

After checking in and getting our camera gear sorted out we set off on our first drive, Mountain Zebra is a mountainous and beautiful place, great scenery and Terrain. We stopped to photograph the Landscapes and mountains.

It didn’t take long before we found the first of many Black Wildebeest roaming on the Plateau along with a pair of Blue Cranes, a bird I have not seen in a while.

A short while later we watched as a couple of Territorial Male Wildebeest had a brief argument, I can only assume over a Territorial boundary, it was brief and intense with a clear winner, the Looser trotted off to go and feed a short distance away.

The Birding in the park was pretty good and we managed to photograph a Male Ostrich and some Spike Heeled Larks, they were running a zig zag pattern through the grass tufts.

There are also Blesbok and Springbok in the park and towards the end of our afternoon we saw them feeding together in the afternoon light.

On our way back to the Cottage we spotted our first Mountain Zebra, a small herd Grazing off to the side of the road, Im still undecided if the Mountain or Burchells Zebra is better looking ?

We headed back to the Cottage after a great start to our trip.

The following morning a few minutes after leaving we found a magnificent Male Lion lying next to the road, he was alone and he had some blood on his mane but we couldn’t see what he had eaten, the lion was lazy and sleepy but me managed to get some good images of him before he moved off into the bush for a nap.

For the rest of the day we drove around photographing Black Wildebeest, Ostrich, Mountain Zebras, and a beautiful Cape Long claw and many other species as well as the beautiful Landscapes.

On our way back to our Cottage we passed where the we saw the Male Lion earlier in the day, he had re-appeared from the bush and was taking it easy on a small clearing, on the odd occasion he would lift his head and listen and he even sat up a few times, listening intently to the distant sounds, eventually we had to leave to get back before it got dark.

It had been a great day.

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