impala calves at spring time okonjima nature reserve

It is Spring-time at Okonjima, Namibia

It is a time of colour, of feathers getting ruffled, dances to impress, temperature rising and greater activity for all the wildlife at Okonjima, Namibia.

The Kalahari Apple-leaf trees are in full blossom all over Namibia, a festival of purple & green.

Kalahari Apple-leaf tree
Spring has arrived at Okonjima, Namibia. Kalahari Apple-leaf tree

Here is another highlight by one of the Okonjima game reserve guides, Clive:

“It’s nearing the breeding season and the males are changing into their `pulling` plumage, and calls and dances are being practised.

We were lucky enough to see a Red Crested Korhaan trying his best to impress a certain female that came to watch. . .

Red crested korhaan at Okonjima game reserve, Namibia

The male calls with a loud clicking noise which gets the females looking his way and then up he goes. After flying straight up, he stops flapping and plummets down, just opening his wings before he stops suddenly – hence they are also known as the ‘suicide bird’.

His crest is fully raised and he’s dancing and hopping round and round the female, it’s quite a show! He’s trying his best and all the guests are rooting for him, but alas, she’s playing hard to get.

After trying his best she seems to say,`Yeah, not bad but let me look around a bit` with that she flies off. Poor Mr Korhaan just stands there watching her fly away; you can almost hear his thoughts.

Slowly his crest goes down, gives us a look as if to say that it was our fault and struts off.

Keep trying mate, better luck next time.”

I have been lucky enough to see this spectacle, it is extraordinary, and I believe quite unique. Although our guide at the time said that he had never known anyone to capture the moment on video.

I am determined next time I am at Okonjima; to spend some time trying to video that moment, it may take a great deal of patience. I could not find anything on YouTube, so if you go to Okonjima, have your video camera at the ready – it could be a first!

Mark

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