There is a peace and rightness to the world in the African bush like I’ve experienced no where else in the world. The lush green hills of KwaZulu Natal created such a perfect backdrop for this contented and happily occupied family group of Burchell’s Zebra, creating a sense of peace and beauty that was just overwhelming. Although limited to the visual, the photograph sparks so many other strong senses and emotions for me. Very interestingly, Zebra flee predators in a very prescribed manner with mares with young foals in front, other mares in the middle and the stallion bringing up the rear. Fleeing at about half their top speed of 60 – 70 km keeps the group together and allows the stallion the freedom to maneavour in the rear. At first glance, a seemingly cumbersome arrangement, but in truth a very sound strategy, as a lone Zebra that splits from the group typically becomes easy prey. Always watchful and restful at the same time, this family group stayed close together as they slowly moved across the hillside, evidently relishing the abundant and rich grasses the fresh rains had provided.
Hluhluwe reserve, South Africa