Zimanga Private Game Reserve, South Africa

In Africa hides (aka blinds) are becoming more popular. A hide is usually established at a watering site. This gives the photographer/observer a way to watch the wildlife quietly without the animals being aware.

Zimanga Reserve has taken this concept to a whole new level. Their hides have been designed by photographers with photographers in mind. Comfortable chairs, tripods and a special glass that you can shoot through are inside the hides. Well designed waterholes such as the one above keep distractions in the background at a minimum and good light at a maximum.

Photographing little birds is not something I do often so observing the behavior of these little guys was just plain fun. We also had some unexpected visitors who livened things up a bit.

Bathing Techniques

You can see by the pictures why this is called the Birdbath Hide. It’s fun to watch these little guys enjoy the water. Some birds seem to regard the water as suspect while others just dive on in. Either way they can kick up a lot of water for such small creatures.

The Starlings

Starlings always look like they’re a little angry at something. It’s those eyes that catch your attention.

(Click on an image to enlarge and use the arrows to go to the next.)

Finches, Waxbills, Weavers, and Others

The little birds really get energetic in their bathing.

Those who come to drink

Of course, it’s not just the little birds like the ones pictured here who come to the water. The larger Helmeted Guineafowl and the Francolin also showed up for a drink.

Unexpected Visitors

Apparently there were a few animals who didn’t understand that this was a bird hide. The first to appear was a cheeky Vervet monkey also known as a Blue-ball monkey. Somewhat later I looked up and saw a group of Warthogs. At least they did bring some Oxpeckers with them. At the end of our morning session a herd of Impalas showed up. They were highly suspicious that we were behind the one-way glass.

Thanks for joining me! I’ll have more from my sessions at some of the other hides at Zimanga shortly. I always look forward to your comments and feedback! If you haven’t already, please sign up at the top of the page to receive an email notification of future posts.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for taking us to the hides and sharing the stories and the exquisite photograhs. You made my morning more beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Sandy! I’m glad to know that you are enjoying them.

  2. You know I love all of our feathered friends. They are all so beautiful. And the bigger guys, too. How I’d love to see it in person. Lovely photography.

    1. Thank you, Hope! That is something I know you would enjoy seeing. Who knows!?

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