Vulture Showdown.

It was midday, and Peter had arrived at a waterhole in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa. Scores of white-backed and lappet-faced vultures covered an eland carcass, squabbling over the meat. ‘Two things hit me simultaneously,’ says Peter. ‘The vile stench of rotting flesh and the intense buzz of flies.’
The white-backed vultures were surprisingly violent as they vied for the best feeding positions. This particular individual had backed off from a fight but was about to re-enter the fray. Covered in dust, wings spread, head lowered, it reminded Peter of a gladiator in his chariot, lining up for a charge.
Its picture is a portrayal of the true character of this feisty bird.
Photo: Peter Delaney (Ireland).

The Secretary Bird, snake hunter.

The Secretary bird (Sagittarius serpentarius)
Their long gangly legs and striking facial palette may have you flicking past the Birds of Prey section in your Africa book, but they are actually thought to be most closely related to hawks and eagles.
Secretary birds eat whatever they want including mammals, birds, amphibians and (often venomous) reptiles.
Upon sighting something with lunch potential, Secretary birds will lash out with their long legs and well developed feet with impressive force.
Prey such as venomous adders and cobras are kicked straight in the head: by pounding the business end of the snake into the ground, the Secretary bird decreases the chance of lunch biting back.
Once it’s definitely ceased to live, the Secretary bird will swallow the snake whole like a string of spaghetti.
They will also stamp on tufts of grass to send any edible occupants running (probably unsuccessfully) for their lives.
Source: Blog – Get Involved – Horniman Museum and Gardens

Where Men are Banned, Umoja Village.

Umoja in Kenya started out as a refuge for victims of sexual abuse.
Fifteen years later the women-only village is thriving.
Photographer Georgina Goodwin visits the single-sex community.
In the company of women: (centre) Judia, 19, came to the village of Umoja six years ago, having run away from home to avoid being sold into marriage. Umoja was founded in 1990 by 15 women who were raped by British soldiers. 
Photographs: Georgina Goodwin for the Observer.
d3339f52-db60-4a66-bd71-8c47e3e4b838-2060x1373China Laprodati with her baby selling her jewellery
f9b1e3c3-7a86-43e9-957e-0fb9147826e0-2060x1373‘I heard of a women’s community from gossip in my old village’: Seita Lengima, 68.
See more Images via The village where men are banned – in pictures | Global development | The Guardian.

The Giraffe Weevil Bug.

The giraffe weevil (Trachelophorus giraffa) is a weevil endemic to Madagascar. It derives its name from an extended neck much like that of the common giraffe.
The Giraffe Weevil is an herbivore and is not commonly known by most people. The giraffe weevil is sexually dimorphic, with the neck of the male typically being 2 to 3 times the length of that of the female.
Most of the body is black with distinctive red elytra covering the flying wings. The total body length of the males is just under an inch (2.5 cm), among the longest for any Attelabid species.
The extended neck is an adaptation that assists in nest building and fighting.
When it comes time to breed, the mother-to-be will roll and secure a leaf of the host plant, Dichaetanthera cordifolia and Dichaetanthera arborea (a small tree in the family Melastomataceae), and then lay a single egg within the tube.
She will then snip the roll from the remaining leaf in preparation of the egg hatching.
via Weird Looking Bug: The Giraffe Weevil (giraffe Bug) | Bored Panda.

The Nightcap by Charl Senekal.

The nightcap by Charl Senekal, South Africa
‘For Charl, nothing beats the excitement and anticipation of sitting in wait at a waterhole during the dry season, knowing that anything can appear out of the darkness.
The herd of zebra in South Africa’s Zimanga game reserve surpassed his wildest wishes, and the still conditions resulted in a near-perfect reflection.’
Photograph: Charl Senekal/Natural History Museum
See more Images via Wildlife photographer of the year people’s choice award – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

Ruacana Falls in Namibia.


Ruacana Falls in Namibia. (The EPSON International Pano Awards: Hougaard Malan)
“Driving through a drought-stricken Namibia for days to eventually arrive at the mighty Kunene plunging down this gorge, was an experience I’ll never forget.
“Despite having a full two days there, I was immediately overwhelmed with the panic and fear of not capturing this majestic and ultra-rare display of nature.”
See more images via Stunning panoramic photos honoured in EPSON International Pano Awards 2016 – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)