In the heart of South Africa’s wilderness, Makanyi Lodge recently had a surprise guest – a greater flamingo! The unusual sighting brought excitement among our guests and staff, as flamingos have never been seen in the area.

As captured in the video below, the flamingo showcased its unique feeding style. With its head gracefully submerged in the water, the bird uses its curved bill to filter out small aquatic organisms. This process highlights the flamingo’s specialized adaptation for efficient feeding while maintaining an upright posture, thanks to the comb-like structures inside its bill.

Here are 3 fascinating facts about these beautiful birds:

Distinctive Pink Hue: : The vibrant pink colour of a flamingo’s feathers is not inherent; it comes from their diet. Flamingos consume carotenoid pigments found in algae and crustaceans, which, in turn, contribute to the development of their iconic pink plumage.

Inverted Leg Joint: Flamingos are known for their long, slender legs, but what makes them even more fascinating is that their “knee” joint is actually an ankle joint. The visible joint in the middle of their leg is equivalent to a human ankle, and their real knee is located close to the body and is not visible. This anatomical adaptation allows them to stand and move in shallow waters while feeding comfortably.

Social Nesting: Greater flamingos are social birds and often nest in large colonies, sometimes numbering in the thousands. These colonies provide a sense of safety, making it easier for them to protect their nests and young from potential predators. The collective nesting behaviour of flamingos showcases their strong social bonds and cooperative nature. We sure hope that this one will find its way back.

At Makanyi Lodge, each day brings the potential for surprising encounters with nature’s wonders. We invite you to join us for an unforgettable safari experience and be part of the magic that unfolds at Makanyi.