Camouflage is everything!

The photo above is that of a Kudu, which is a large antelope which is found in Zimbabwe, Malawi and the Congo. I was travelling with my mate in Zimbabwe’s Hwange Game Park en route to Hwange airport, which  is about 90 miles to the south of Hwange itself. We had stopped the car to let a rather large herd of buffalo cross the track. Anyone who has ever seen buffalo up close knows that you just do not argue with buffalo. So we sat stationary, with my mate with his head and shoulders out of the window, camera up, aiming at these enormously powerful animals as they slowly meandered across our route.

The bush itself was quite close to my side of the car, and as I sat, waiting for my buddy to get over his buffalo fetish, I let my gaze wander over the thorns and leaves to my left.

I believed that, apart from the buffalo in plain sight ahead of us, we were alone, so I relaxed as my view casually swept forwards and, suddenly, an eye blinked about three feet from my face. Immediately, because I now had a reference point, I saw a huge KUDU was standing stock still about a yard away from the car. I scrabbled at my mate’s sleeve with my hand, not wanting to speak out loud but desperately trying to attract his attention away from the bleeding buffalo to this majestic animal which was standing right in front of my window, staring calmly at me. It may seem incredible to any who have not seen or experienced nature’s camouflage in action, but there it was; some six feet tall at the base of its twisted horns; and until it had blinked its eye, I simply had not seen it.

My buddy wound his body back inside the car at my urgent but silent beckoning, but before he turned his head around to see what I was jerking his arm off for, that beautiful Kudu simply walked away, and within five yards simply dissappeared in the thick bush and undergrowth.

As with Kudu, so carefully camouflaged by the very DNA of their survival; so with many other apparitions in Africa!