Safaris are all about the big game. But even though elephants, leopards and rhinos (oh my!) fill your lens and retinas on a daily basis, it's still just as wonderful to watch a squirrel scamper through a tree. This species is known in South Africa simply as a tree squirrel, or Smith's bush squirrel more broadly. Its golden coat with tinges of rust and green make it a far more handsome creature than the common grey squirrels that run through London's parks. It lacks none of their characteristic agility either, as the video below will demonstrate. I spent a good half-hour watching this individual scurry about the tree that stood right next to the lodge.
When I was a kid in London on the '50's things were a little different. yes, today you will see the "common grey squirrels that run through London's parks", but back then they were a recent invading species (from America) taking over from the red squirrels we all loved.
I guess the grey squirrels were successful: even the memory of the little red guys is gone now, in London. They are still around in the forests, but even there their existence is precarious. See the Forestry Service's report (http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/Redsquirrel).
Fascinating! And because of the focus of documentaries on characteristic megafauna, I never even knew this delightful creature existed. Thanks so much!