Much like the guests who visit our lodges, we as rangers are also surrounded by a constant stream of wildlife around our ‘ranger village’. A wide variety of species can all be heard and seen right from our doorsteps, and over a few months, I have collected some images of the different visitors.
One main reason for the constant stream of visitors we have around our living quarters seems to be due to a large Sausage Tree found in our ranger’s garden, and one of the species that we see the most are the ever-characteristic Vervet monkeys. Almost every morning we are greeted by a small family of Vervet monkeys running on our roof to the Sausage Tree to feed on the stunning maroon flowers that the tree possesses.
Their characteristic chattering sounds are a wake-up call, and they have always seemed to arrive at the same time each morning for their “breakfast date” in the Sausage Tree. The same occurs around lunchtime with all of them once again enjoying the flowers of the beautiful tree and then enjoying a drink at the birdbath.
Small antelope also find their way to our doorstep, such as bushbuck who are also drawn to the flowers of the Sausage Tree that have fallen onto the ground. Their dainty hooves move slowly as they pass by us and nibble at the fallen flowers, and then also enjoy a drink at the local birdbath while we sit and enjoy a morning coffee.
A myriad of birds is also seen around us every day. Woodpeckers are seen pecking at the branches of the Sausage Tree in search of a meal while Dark-capped Bulbuls enjoy bathing in the birdbath and then perch in the tree.
Another reason for the influx of species are the Aloes that grow in the garden as well, and when they flower, they attract small insects such as bees and different sunbirds such as the White-bellied Sunbird, the Collared Sunbird as well as the Scarlet-chested Sunbird, which is usually too quick for my camera to capture, can often be seen feeding on the flowering aloes or heard around the rooms.
It is fascinating to see how the different species are drawn to the Sausage Tree, the Aloes and other small plant species we have in our garden, and we are so very fortunate to be surrounded by the constant influx of species around us due to all these ‘sources of life’.