It’s Baby Season!

Summer season in Swaziland is full of exciting game viewing with animals of all shapes and sizes.  Many of our mammals subscribe to breeding seasons, producing their young from October through to March each year.  Wildebeest, impala and blesbuck are among the summer births.  In fact, according to Ted Reilly, you will not see a blesbuck lamb before 5th October.  Amazingly, since I heard this, I kept an eye out every year to prove him wrong, and almost every year, the first sightings of a lamb was on the 5th or 6th of October!

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Probably the most endearing of the babies are the warthogs… the ‘hoglets’.  Mothers quietly graze around the camp, while these cheeky minions bounce, race, do excited 360 degree turns as if someone pulls an invisible handbrake and off they go again….or suddenly drop onto their tummies in an angelic, non-plussed manner.  One hog brings her babies to the camp fire on a chilly day, and generation after generation are learning to do this.  They are quite happy to share half the fire with our guests, as long as they get to roast themselves.

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It has been an extremely hard year in the lowveld though, with a drought spanning 3 long years.  This past winter saw nature reducing stock at an alarming and gut-wrenching rate. In days of old, animals could simply migrate, but there is nowhere to go to now.  The parks have hard perimeters – or the animals face becoming a welcome meal  beyond the fence.  It has not been a good year for rhino calves, but the giraffe have managed to keep their populations expanding.

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Author: Big Game Parks

Sawubona! Welcome to Big Game Parks' Blog! From the flatlands in the East, through the mountainous and scenic West, to the heart of the lowveld in the South East, the Kingdom of Swaziland not only offers you nearly every example of African landscape but also unforgettable wildlife, culture, adventure and birding experiences. Big Game Parks (BGP) is a private non-profit Trust which manages three game reserves in Swaziland: Hlane Royal National Park, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and Mkhaya Game Reserve. All follow a common mission: to conserve the rich biodiversity of Swaziland's natural heritage. In 1960 the Reilly's family established the Kingdom's first game reserve on the Reilly family farm, Mlilwane. Hlane Royal National Park and Mkhaya Game Reserve soon followed and today the company's contribution to the restoration and protection of the Kingdom’s biodiversity is of great significance (BGP actually saved 22 species from extinction in Swaziland!) and can truly be appreciated by the discerning traveller. Swaziland is well-situated between Kruger National Park and Kwa-Zulu Natal as well as Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Maputo. Big Game Parks’ well-positioned and diverse game reserves are an essential destination in any itinerary. Discover all the latest Big Game Parks tourism, conservation and community happenings right here. Sitawubonana! See you soon!

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