Much is said about the Mashatu ‘green season’ and the beautiful display of yellow devil’s thorn that covers the reserve. But there is another thing we have to enjoy this time of the year – the plentiful viewing of the many newborn animals, including impala, wildebeest and eland.
These antelope mate in late April or May and give birth after six to eight months in time for long sunny days, warm temperatures and rainfall, which helps the grass and vegetation to thrive, ensuring there is plenty food to sustain the young ones.
Mating for each species happens around the same time ensuring that the births happen in quick succession. This synchronised birthing tactic is an effective survival strategy. Baby antelope are easy prey and indeed some do fall prey to predators, but with so many babies born at the same time, it increases the overall chance of survival.
What a wonderful start to a new year. By the time our guests return after our long closure due to the pandemic, these young ones will have grown substantially. They may be a little shy at first, but they will realize very quickly that we mean them no harm.
Prepared by Janet Kleyn