No, this photograph is not from Nambiti, but it could well have been. Because there are plenty of impala roaming the magnificent Nambiti Private Game Reserve. And a fair amount of spider webs, as you will notice particularly when going out on an early morning game drive with one of the game guides from Nambiti Hills Private Lodge. It’s one of my favourite things to see, in fact, especially when the temperature has dropped during the night and there is dew on leaves and branches of bushes and shrubs along the roadside. Every now and then, you will spot glistening droplets of water caught in a spider web that stretches between branches. You will most likely also see insects and leaves that have blown onto the sticky web and can now not extricate themselves. The early morning sun catches this small spectacle of nature and makes it shine like a diamond in the sky. Depending on the size of the spider, you will most likely see it too, lying in wait as it prepares for its three-course meal.
Just as I’m sure you have walked into a spider’s web at home when sorting through a dusty garage, or in the garden, so too do animals occasionally brush past webs in the wild. I’m sure there are many impala, just like the one in the photograph, that have walked into a web and become the new location for the resourceful spider. The ability to adapt is the ability to survive, and the spider featured above has done that magnificently, having spun its web between the unsuspecting new host’s horns.
So, next time you’re out on a game drive, make sure you take your binoculars, and look at all the buck a little more closely than usual. My guess is, you will find a few spiders who moved into their new and very stylish mobile homes.
- Siobhan Gunning, writer and wildlife enthusiast