Flamingos turn Kalahari pan pink in once-in-a-lifetime spectacle

2016-03-07 07:33
Flamingos in the Kalahari. (Supplied to News24)

Flamingos in the Kalahari. (Supplied to News24)

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Kalahari – Residents of the Kalahari were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience last week, when Hakskeenpan turned pink. 

Hundreds of Flamingos descended on the pan – giving many local residents and schoolkids a sight they've never seen before.

"I've never seen a Flamingo in my whole live," a resident watching the spectacle told News24.

Good rains fell in the area in January, flooding the pan. It created a playground for the flamingos. The news spread quickly – and schools in the area hastily organised road trips for pupils.

"I've only seen flamingos when I went to Kimberley. This is the first time I've ever seen them in the Kalahari," Lood Williams, the municipal manager of Mier municipality said.

"Schools brought the children here in their numbers. They might never see them again. You know it's possible for some of these children to only see rain for the first time when they are in their teens.

"You you can imagine what a rare and wonderful opportunity this is," Williams said.

"This is quite a wonderful surprise," said Donovan Isaacs, a resident of Klein Mier near the pan said.

"This is the only the second time I've seen flamingos in my life – the first time was in Kimberley. But I know many people who saw the birds for the first time only now. And at least the children could experience it."

The spectacle didn't last as long as was hoped though. By Sunday, all the birds had left the pan. It's suspected they left for Kimberley.

Kimberley's Kamfersdam is host to the largest colony of Lesser Flamingo in Africa.

There's been some flooding and water quality issues of late that causes some of the flamingos to temporarily migrate to safer waters.

But Hakskeenpan is still flooded and could take months to dry up. Locals are holding thumbs that the flamingos will return, along with other birds they've never seen before.

Flamingos in the Kalahari. (Supplied to News24)

Read more on:    kimberley  |  animals

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