How a photo blog can inspire you to visit the Kalahari Desert in Namibia

The images below showcase the newly refurbished Kalahari Anib Lodge in Namibia:

An inviting oasis tucked in the desert

An inviting oasis tucked in the desert

Embrace  the reality of the Kalahari atmosphere

Embrace the reality of the Kalahari atmosphere

The awesome scenery of the nightfall

The awesome scenery of the nightfall

Always a variety - never a dull moment

Always a variety – never a dull moment

Soup station

Soup station

The ideal place to unwind

The ideal place to unwind

The early bird catches a great sunrise

The early bird catches a great sunrise

Breakfast

Breakfast

Breakfast delicacy

Healthy alternatives

Breakfast area

Breakfast in warm morning light

Breakfast in warm morning light

Kalahari Anib Lodge is a relaxed and down-to-earth stopover for a taste of Kalahari.

Fire place

Fire place

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Design detail

Breakfast area

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Comfort family room

Comfort family room

Comfort family room

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Standard room

Comfort room

Comfort room

Comfort room

Comfort room

Outdoor relaxation

Don’t miss the time of day when the Earth seems to pause for Kalahari magic

Interior detail

Interior detail

Bathroom amenities

Bathroom amenities

Explore the Gondwana Kalahari Park on the sunset drive

Explore the Gondwana Kalahari Park on the sunset drive

Are you inspired to travel to the Kalahari Desert? You are invited to comment below.

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Why is the Jackal called a trickster?

Like the fox in European folklore, the jackal is often represented in African folk tales as a trickster. Its ability to adapt to changing circumstances and its legendary stealth and cunning have inspired stories about the wily creature that dodges traps and avoids hunters year in year out. The jackal is reputed to be able to obliterate its tracks, feign death and rid itself of fleas by immersing itself in water, only exposing a tuft of sheep’s wool which it holds in its snout.

– The jackal kills larger prey with a bite to the throat.  Photo: Johan Scholtz

– The jackal kills larger prey with a bite to the throat. Photo: Johan Scholtz

The notorious Broken Toe, a jackal with a distinctive spoor that continually evaded capture, was enscribed into folklore by the well-known writer Lawrence Green, who recorded its escapades in his book “Karoo”. Khoikhoi fables include stories of jackal outwitting lion and also tell how it acquired its black saddle by offering to carry the sun on its back.

The black-backed jackal is also known as the silver-backed jackal for its silver-flecked black saddle. Fossil records reveal that it is the oldest existing member of the genus Canis. He inhabits the northern stretches of East Africa and southern Africa, from the Skeleton Coast and Etosha National Park to the Drakensberg grasslands.

Surprisingly, the handsome jackal, with its unfortunate reputation as a small stock predator, is monogamous and forms a lifelong bond that lasts for its approximately thirteen-year lifespan or until the death of its mate. It has a protracted courtship period and the pair is a cooperative and synchronised team, caring for their young, marking and defending territory and hunting. They will call and answer when separated. They are also good parents, regurgitating food for their pups that hide in dens or the abandoned burrows of other species, usually aardvark.

Jackal. Credit : Judy and Scott Hurd

Jackal. Credit : Judy and Scott Hurd

Equivalent to the wolf’s call in the northern hemisphere, the jackal’s call can be heard echoing through the savannah or desert, especially during the mating season when it becomes increasingly vocal, epitomising the African night.

Referred to as a nimble opportunist, the small (40 cm, 7-10 kg), black-backed jackal lives by its wits. Although it has been ruthlessly persecuted as animal and human habitat infringe upon each other, its resourcefulness and adaptability have ensured its profusion. In addition to outwitting the king of the beasts in folklore, it has also been referred to by farmers as a robber and pirate. In nature, however, its tricks and tactics are not motivated by malice or treachery; they are merely strategies for survival.

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Namibia: The Giraffe – A different kind of Camel

The Giraffe – A different kind of Camel

Giraffes in the Gondwana Namib Park enjoying their favourite food: the leaves of camel thorn trees.

Giraffes in the Gondwana Namib Park enjoying their favourite food: the leaves of camel thorn trees.

Southern Namibia in 1760: “Which animal, even though not quite as big as an elephant, is of a rather tall body and also because of the long neck, humped back and high legs is a type of camel, albeit not the proper one”? With these words, written in 1760, a European describes the first giraffe he ever saw and obviously couldn’t quite place among the animals he knew. The Afrikaans word for giraffe is kameelperd – which literally means camel horse – and is probably based on this description.

Giraffes at the Gondwana Kalahari Park

Giraffes at the Gondwana Kalahari Park. Photo : Judy and Scott Hurd

The European in question was Jacobus Coetsé Jansz, of Dutch descent, who lived at Piketberg Mountain in the Western Cape. Elephant hunting had brought him into today’s Namibia. It is quite likely that he was the first European to cross the Orange River from the south. Coetsé shot two adult giraffe after chasing them on horseback. Both were females, one with a calf which he wanted to take home with him. He fed rolls soaked in water to the young animal.

GIraffe hiding in the Camelthorn tree

GIraffe hiding in the Camelthorn tree. Photo : Olga Nesterenko

It died after two weeks.Coetsé then skinned it and brought the skin back to the Cape. Back in the Cape he not only talked about this strange new camel but also about other interesting discoveries, among them this tree: “(…) the core and the innermost wood are of an extremely beautiful red colour, and the branches bear large cloverleaves and yellow flowers as well as a pod-type fruit.” The flowers and leaves from the crown of these trees are the preferred food of the kameelperd. Thus the tree’s name: camel thorn, or kameeldoring boom in Afrikaans. When giraffe are grazing on camel thorn trees the formidable thorns rarely get in the way.

The tongue of a giraffe can be up to 50 cm long.

The tongue of a giraffe can be up to 50 cm long. Photo: Janika Stoldt

They browse by wrapping their tongue, which is up to 50 cm long, around a twig and then draw back the head to strip off the leaves. Since they have to graze very carefully, giraffe need almost 20 hours to complete their food-intake of 30 kg per day.

Author: Inke Stolt

 

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