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Ground Hornbill vs Snake

After visiting and travelling to Africa so many times, it’s hard to recall or even separate favourite sightings. I stand by that each sighting is unique and should never be compared to another, they’re products of the animal, the environment, the timing and the emotions you’re feeling at the time and as I’ve talked about before; a great sighting doesn't always mean a great photographic opportunity. However, you do get those moments where everything converges into one moment to create a truly special sighting and my most recent trip to Kruger National Park in South Africa will be held in my heart for as long as I live.


It was a weekend trip through the south of Kruger with friends and we had been lucky to see Big 5 on both days, but there’s always a rush of excitement when something crosses our path – like a southern ground-hornbill. There were a few marauding in the grass right next to the road, completely relaxed with our presence and focused on finding food. One stepped out into the road, about a metre from our vehicle and was eyeing up the top of a nearby tree. It suddenly took flight, soaring up to the top of the tree before momentarily gliding back down – at first it seemed the bird overestimated the stability of this tree, but then it danced forward and alongside our car. It had knocked down a twig snake and was now about to finish the job.