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From Pole to Pole part 4 into a fertile paradise

 
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Birds are the first to arrive in any numbers - water cranes, then black storks. Behind the birds come buffalo. After weeks of marching their trek is coming to an end. As the water sweeps into the Okavango a vast area of the Kalahari is transformed into a fertile paradise. Nowhere on our planet Earth is the life giving power of water so clearly demonstrated. The Okavango becomes criss-crossed with trails as animals move into its heart. The new arrivals open up paths like arteries along which water flows, extending the reach of the flood. This is an Africa rarely seen - a lush water world. Some creatures are completely at home here. These are lechwe - antelope with hooves that splay widely, enabling them to move its speed through the water. For others the change is far less welcome. Baboons are somewhat apprehensive bathers. The water brings a season of plenty for all animals. Hunting dogs. These are now among the rarest of Africa's mammals, but then nonetheless the continent's most efficient predators. Their secret is teamwork. Impala are their favorite prey. They start to hunt and the pack splits up. An aerial viewpoint gives a new insight into their strategy. As the dogs approach their prey they peel off to take up separate positions around their target. They seem to form a cordon around the impala. Moving in total silence they take up their positions. Those ears can detect the slightest rustle. The hunt is on. Three dogs close in on one impala. Missed. The lead dog drives the impala towards the hidden flankers. Anticipating their line the leader cuts the corner and joins a flanker for the final assault. It's all or nothing. One on one. The dog has stamina, the impala has speed. Leaping into the lake is an act of desperation - impala can barely swim. The dogs know their prey must come out or drown - now it's a waiting game. The rest of the pack are calling. And this impala is reprieved. The elephants are nearing the end of their long journey. After weeks of marching they're desperately tired. The matriarch can smell water and encourages the herd to make one last effort. The youngsters are exhausted but their mothers have made this journey before and they know that they're close to water.





From Pole to Pole part 4 pictures


 
 

 
 

 
Planet Earth From Pole to Pole
Planet Earth From Pole to Pole
  2 energy on the sun
2 energy on the sun
  3 across the continents
3 across the continents
  4 into a fertile paradise
4 into a fertile paradise