Southern Ground Hornbill was one of the birds high up on my wish list soon after Kruger plans materialised. Having seen it earlier in Masai Mara a few years ago, the regret of not being able to make any images of this endangered species was was heavy on my mind.
Well into the second half of our maiden drive in Kruger, as the breeze got cooler and the evening light turning everything to gold, we spotted a few black objects on the track as we turned around a bend. A group of ground hornbills were on a stroll!
Seeing our jeep approaching, the hornbills scattered and we were left with only one standing on the track. As the hornbill slowly made it across the track, I made images of the biggest hornbill species in the world.
While one hornbill moved away, majority of the group decided to stick by a termite mound. I had the good fortune of taking a picture of a juvenile hornbill too.
Other species of hornbills spread across Kruger National Park are the Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill and Red-billed Hornbill. Despite seeing them all over during the game drives, they are difficult subjects to shoot. They flew away as soon as the jeep approached them.
A co-operative southern yellow-billed hornbill was gracious enough to stay put on a branch while I attempted to make images.
The more skittish red-billed hornbill was quite a challenge! Despite all my attempts, I managed a decent record of this species.
Thus having covered the majestic southern ground hornbill, the pretty yellow-billed and red-billed hornbills, I have managed to get over the deep-seated regrets from the past trip to Kenya.
All images made with Nikon D850 + 200-400 VR