The Gift of Life

December in Kruger National Park is always hot, the vegetation is generally lush and green, and very colourful, making it ideal for photography. Many animals give birth to their young during theses months and I was fortunate enough to witness one of these births.I was based at Crocodile Bridge and I decided that I had to travel north on the famous S28 Nhlowa Road. It’s a road that is usually ideal for predators and I was hoping to see some big cats, but I was in store for something else - something very rarely seen, and something I consider as my best sighting to date. There were several impalas grazing along the road, and most of them had young, always a lovely sight to see. To my amazement, as one of the antelopes turned around, I noticed it was actually giving birth.The impala was fairly calm as the lamb’s head and front legs emerged; she moved around and even fed while she was giving birth, very relaxed. At the last stage, she decided to sit down and gently pushed her baby out, then quickly got up, turned and started inspecting her newborn. She licked the calf clean and ate all the birth fluids, warding off any predators that might have gotten the scent. Within minutes the little one stood up gingerly and began to run about, exploring its new surroundings.

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