South African lion versus buffalo, video

This 24 January 2020 video from South Africa says about itself:

A male lion in Kruger national park stalks a buffalo and seems to be surprised by the size of the buffalo bull. The male lion then seems to freeze before the buffalo turns around and chases it off.

Best South African hippo sightings, video

This 23 January 2020 video from South Africa says about itself:

Best Hippo Sightings of All Time

To watch the full videos:

1. Baby hippo protects its mother from lion

2. Hippo attacks & hits car

3. Hippo bites land rover as lions attack

4. Hippo kills an impala that’s stuck in mud after lions chased it

5. Hippos come to rescue wildebeest from crocodile

South African lionesses’ special relationship

This 21 January 2020 video from South Africa says about itself:

These Lionesses Have a Special Relationship

In the animal kingdom, it is fairly common to see a dominance display like this by male animals, such as elephants and lions. … However, we have never seen the above behavior between 2 lionesses!

22-year-old guide, Jason De Rauville captured a very rare instance where two lionesses try and mount at Phinda Game Reserve recently. We asked Jason to explain this unusual sighting and he told us what he saw:

“We were on our way out on an early morning game drive and came across some fresh lioness tracks. I was a tracker with one of the guides before becoming a guide myself. We followed the tracks for a while and noticed that a lioness had sort of “scent marked” against a tree so this stated that she must have been on heat. We followed the tracks further and met up with another guide who found two lionesses not far from where we were. We stopped at the sighting and watched them for a while.”

“I was very confused at first, I’ve seen dominance displayed by males toward each other, but never have I seen this behavior in females. We saw one lioness mount the other and decided to stay and see if it would happen again. I was so excited because I had never heard of or seen anything like this before. The wait paid off and she mounted again, this time I had my camera ready!”

“They acted like a honeymoon pair of lions and then lay down again. We left after the second round of mounting when they began to settle down and rest. It was the first time ever that I had seen this and after speaking to a lot of people, I realized that this is very, very rare. One of the lionesses is relatively young, she is also the much smaller one between the two – I’m not sure if that is maybe one of the influencing factors in what happened here.”

“There has not been much research conducted into why lionesses would portray this kind of behavior, but it was amazing to see such unheard-of behavior in the bush.”

South African warthog piglet resists elephant

This 8 January 2020 video from South Africa says about itself:

A young warthog refused to be pushed over by an elephant that wanted to have the waterhole for itself, he kept going back even when the elephant would try and hit him with his trumpet. This sighting was filmed in Kruger national park by Brent Schnupp.

Prehistoric South Africans cooked vegetables

This 2015 video says about itself:

What Did Prehistoric Humans Actually Eat?

Ancient humans existed thousands of years ago, and they were very different than humans today! What did they eat?

Read more here. And here.

From the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa:

Early modern humans cooked starchy food in South Africa, 170,000 years ago

The discovery also points to food being shared and the use of wooden digging sticks to extract the plants from the ground

January 2, 2020

“The inhabitants of the Border Cave in the Lebombo Mountains on the Kwazulu-Natal/eSwatini border were cooking starchy plants 170 thousand years ago,” says Professor Lyn Wadley, a scientist from the Wits Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (Wits ESI). “This discovery is much older than earlier reports for cooking similar plants and it provides a fascinating insight into the behavioural practices of early modern humans in southern Africa. It also implies that they shared food and used wooden sticks to extract plants from the ground.”

It is extraordinary that such fragile plant remains have survived for so long,” says Dr Christine Sievers, a scientist from the University of the Witwatersrand, who completed the archaeobotanical work with Wadley. The underground food plants were uncovered during excavations at Border Cave in the Lebombo Mountains (on the border of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, and eSwatini [formerly Swaziland]), where the team has been digging since 2015. During the excavation, Wadley and Sievers recognised the small, charred cylinders as rhizomes. All appear to belong to the same species, and 55 charred, whole rhizomes were identified as Hypoxis, commonly called the Yellow Star flower. “The most likely of the species growing in KwaZulu-Natal today is the slender-leafed Hypoxis angustifolia that is favoured as food,” adds Sievers. “It has small rhizomes with white flesh that is more palatable than the bitter, orange flesh of rhizomes from the better known medicinal Hypoxis species (incorrectly called African Potato).”

The Border Cave plant identifications were made on the size and shape of the rhizomes and on the vascular structure examined under a scanning electron microscope. Modern Hypoxis rhizomes and their ancient counterparts have similar cellular structures and the same inclusions of microscopic crystal bundles, called raphides. The features are still recognisable even in the charred specimens. Over a four-year period, Wadley and Sievers made a collection of modern rhizomes and geophytes from the Lebombo area. “We compared the botanical features of the modern geophytes and the ancient charred specimens, in order to identify them,” explains Sievers.

Hypoxis rhizomes are nutritious and carbohydrate-rich with an energy value of approximately 500 KJ/100g. While they are edible raw, the rhizomes are fibrous and have high fracture toughness until they are cooked. The rhizomes are rich in starch and would have been an ideal staple plant food. “Cooking the fibre-rich rhizomes would have made them easier to peel and to digest so more of them could be consumed and the nutritional benefits would be greater,” says Wadley.

Wooden digging sticks used to extract the plants from the ground

“The discovery also implies the use of wooden digging sticks to extract the rhizomes from the ground. One of these tools was found at Border Cave and is directly dated at circa 40,000 years ago,” says co-author of the paper and co-director of the excavation, Professor Francesco d’Errico, (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université de Bordeaux, France and University of Bergen, Norway). Dr Lucinda Backwell (Instituto Superior de Estudios Sociales, ISES-CONICET, Tucumán, Argentina) also co-authored the paper and was a co-director of the excavation.

The plants were cooked and shared

The Hypoxis rhizomes were mostly recovered from fireplaces and ash dumps rather than from surrounding sediment. “The Border Cave inhabitants would have dug Hypoxis rhizomes from the hillside near the cave, and carried them back to the cave to cook them in the ashes of fireplaces,” says Wadley. “The fact that they were brought back to the cave rather than cooked in the field suggests that food was shared at the home base. This suggests that the rhizomes were roasted in ashes and that, in the process, some were lost. While the evidence for cooking is circumstantial, it is nonetheless compelling.”

Discoveries at Border Cave

This new discovery adds to the long list of important finds at Border Cave. The site has been repeatedly excavated since Raymond Dart first worked there in 1934. Amongst earlier discoveries were the burial of a baby with a Conus seashell at 74,000 years ago, a variety of bone tools, an ancient counting device, ostrich eggshell beads, resin, and poison that may once have been used on hunting weapons.

The Border Cave Heritage Site

Border Cave is a heritage site with a small site museum. The cave and museum are open to the public, though bookings are essential [Olga Vilane (+27) (0) 72 180 4332]. Wadley and her colleagues hope that the Border Cave discovery will emphasise the importance of the site as an irreplaceable cultural resource for South Africa and the rest of the world.

About Hypoxis angustifolia

Hypoxis angustifolia is evergreen, so it has visibility year-round, unlike the more common deciduous Hypoxis species. It thrives in a variety of modern habitats and is thus likely to have had wide distribution in the past as it does today. It occurs in sub-Saharan Africa, south Sudan, some Indian Ocean islands, and as far afield as Yemen. Its presence in Yemen may imply even wider distribution of this Hypoxis plant during previous humid conditions. Hypoxis angustifolia rhizomes grow in clumps so many can be harvested at once. “All of the rhizome’s attributes imply that it could have provided a reliable, familiar food source for early humans trekking within Africa, or even out of Africa,” said Lyn Wadley. Hunter-gatherers tend to be highly mobile so the wide distribution of a potential staple plant food would have ensured food security.

Hyenas not good tree climbers

This 2019 video from South Africa says about itself:

Sometimes you just have to stick to your day-job! In this incredible video of hyenas feeding in a tree, we see why hyenas are not exactly known for their climbing ability.

44-year-old chef, Steven Hayley from the United Kingdom shared his spectacular sighting with, and told us more about the one in a lifetime experience!

“It was a late September afternoon on the H7 near Satara where I watched a leopard feeding on an impala carcass in a tree. Knowing that leopards usually revisit their kills, I returned at first light in hope to find the leopard in its same spot still feeding. I did not see the leopard but noticed two hyenas below the tree trying to figure out a way to get to what was left of the carcass.”

“A few more cars joined me at the sighting spot, hoping to get a glimpse of the leopard, but the leopard was not around, so some of the cars continued on their way and I remained stationary with another lovely South African couple who ended up sharing some food with me. After about 20 minutes spent waiting, we were finally rewarded when one of the hyenas started climbing up the tree to get the carcass. You very rarely see hyenas climb anything at all so this was extremely exciting! The hyena got to the carcass and started feeding while also simultaneously trying to keep the second hyena from getting his share of the meal.”

“I was shocked at this sighting and I don’t believe almost anyone has ever seen this before, and that includes guides and rangers that I spoke to after this event! I was so intrigued. I watched the amazing thought process of this brave hyena as it contemplated its strategy of how to dislodge the carcass from the tree. It kept at its attempts and even after it fell from the tree it got straight back up to try again and I found this unbelievable especially after such a heavy fall from quite a fair height!”

“Eventually the hyena came back down the tree to assess the situation from below of how best to get the meal on the ground, but he wasn’t sure. The two hyenas ended up fighting for the scraps that had fallen to the ground and finally gave up and left. I believe that this is the rarest sighting I’ve ever had in the Kruger and I think the footage can speak for itself! This was simply incredible.”

South African wildlife, two hours video

This 27 December 2019 video says about itself:

8K Wildlife of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa – Part #2

Relax and enjoy 2 HOURS of the most stunning landscapes of South Africas’ Kgalagadi National Park that offers a full spectrum of habitat types, and is presented to you in the premium quality such as 8K UHD that allows for each pixel to be indistinguishable to the human eye.

Feel inspired and discover African wildlife such as the herds of gemsbok, springbok, eland, and blue wildebeest. Enjoy an emotional break with this unique 8K wildlife video. You will see fascinating camel thorn trees providing shade for gorgeous lions and vantage points for nimble leopard. Listen to the relaxing natural sounds and pleasant background music.