a small herd of springbok

Good Times, Bad Times: Springbok hunting in Gordon-Cumming’s “Five Years in South Africa” and today

“The springbok is so termed by the colonists on account of its peculiar habit of springing or taking extraordinary bounds, rising to an incredible height in the air, when pursued”, wrote Roualeyn Gordon-Cumming in “Five Years of a Hunter’s Life in the Far Interior of South Africa”. The graceful antelope that has become the symbol of South Africa once covered the plains with its innumerable herds. Today it is mostly found on game farms, hunting concessions, national parks and protected areas, and the impressive “trek-bokken” is but a memory of times gone by. But are the good times of springbok hunting then or now?

Continue reading
Zebra on a waterhole

Why Does the Zebra Have the Stripes?

The skin of the zebra is one of the most popular trophies that hunters bring home from African safaris. Whether you use it as a carpet on the wall or a rug on the floor, or make a more original taxidermy out of it, the striking black-and-white skin can’t help but stir your curiosity. The old question “Is zebra white with black stripes or black with white stripes?” has been positively answered. Zebra embryos start out black (or brown), and the white color appears later, so zebra is black with white stripes. But why do they need the stripes in the first place?

Continue reading