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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > January-March 2017 (77) > CALENDAR



A spring in their step


These lush months are the best time to observe springbok and other herbivores in the usually arid Kalahari. At this time of year, the rains have come and the parched plains have burst into life. It is also the peak of these animals’ breeding season, so visitors can expect to see plenty of youngsters on wobbly legs, which in turn attract hungry predators. Big cats stalking vulnerable babies can make heart-rending but enthralling viewing. Newborn lambs are at first hidden away in the tall grass or shrubs that have sprung up, allowing them some respite from the dangers of the open terrain, but before long they must brave the grasslands. Look out for a remarkable attribute of the male springbok: its so-called pronking or stotting, where it leaps up to four metres into the air in a stiff-legged posture, to display its grace and strength, and, crucially, deter any carnivores on the hunt for their supper.

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