Christmas does not go by uncelebrated, even here deep in the Waterberg. And it’s not only us humans celebrate the festive season….

For example, Christmas morning. It was a quiet game drive. I should’ve known all the animals only come out for brunch much later, no need to be up early today. Luckily the Christmas spirit kicked in at around 8am when a herd of elephants celebrated their Christmas with us during our pancake stop. They were patiently waiting for us behind the dam wall and then came out to put on a big show that involved a lot of splashing and showing off their excellent ‘snorkelling’ skills.

We have also been lucky enough to discover little ‘presents’ all over the reserve. Presents? Yes, gifts of nature – newborns. Sometimes piled up snoozing under a tree or darting and jumping around our game viewing hide at the lodge. We find them around every corner when driving through the reserve. Newborn warthog piglets, impala still wobbly on their new legs, and blue wildebeest calves who from day one look a bit confused about what is going on around them!

It’s great to see so much new life to greet us each morning. With that, unfortunately for some in the circle of life, many of the bigger predators start their festive season with easy pickings here and there. Luckily these vulnerable young ones are gifted with a good sense of smell, immediate sight, amazing hearing and great reflexes, so many do manage to make a lucky escape! We are privileged to see the little ones develop more every day – presents from the bush they are indeed.

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