People tend to follow footpaths across an open space: someone must have started walking along that route; others followed … until the path became clear even with tall grass on either side.

Footpath near our home.

Most roads probably began in much the same way. Now we have tarred roads and highways connecting towns and cities. In the country – and particularly in most of our National Parks – we still get dirt roads winding through the veld.

Mountain Zebra National Park.

Animals too follow paths that have been forged by others through the veld on the way to waterholes or sheltered spots, or even from one good grazing ground to another.

Narrow animal trail visible on the stony ground.

Not all trails are on flat ground nor do they all wind up or down a hill.

Animal trails following the contours of a steep hillside in the Mountain Zebra National Park.

Larger animals create much broader trails through the veld.

Broad rhino trail as seen in the Kruger National Park.

23 thoughts on “TRAILS IN THE VELD

  1. Pingback: TRAILS IN THE VELD — Something Over Tea – ° BLOG ° Gabriele Romano

  2. Unusual pictures and interesting thought. I was born and raised in Austria, in the Alps. The same thing happens with snow. One person is brave enough to step through the fresh fallen snow, the next follows his footsteps, until soon there will be a path for everybody.


  3. I’m going to echo the others—such an interesting post and something I had never really thought about. But you are absolutely right. We tend to follow established paths because it is easier than bushwhacking. Once in a great while, in the woods, I have made my own path and have been rewarded with branches slapping my face and mud in my shoes. Still, there is a certain satisfaction in striking out on your own, even if it is uncomfortable. A lesson there?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting post, Anne. Trails getting from A to B, or sometimes just wandering, always peak the imagination and evoke curiosity… where does this lead? They claim the convoluted streets of old Boston were once cow paths, one can believe it! I often follow wildlife paths through the woods, and our own walking trails around our property show footprints of critters taking advantage of the cleared way.


  5. Once, flying back from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg, our flight path went straight over the Addo Elephant National Park. Seeing all those game trails leading to and from the various waterholes is a sight I will never forget!


  6. I always check the snow for tracks and sometimes take pictures. Last year I was at Council Point Park and saw some unusual tracks in the freshly fallen snow that covered the Ecorse Creek. I couldn’t figure out what they were and, wondered if there was a group on the internet that I could send the photo of the prints to. I found a group on Facebook and everyone had a go at what they were and we decided it was a heron that walked across the snowy ice. (Afterward, it dawned on me that I should have guessed it myself as there is a resident heron that lives in the Park, but I’ve never seen him crossing a snow-covered Creek before.


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