Travel | 18 Sep 2014 | By Sun International
The Flamingos of Kimberley’s Flamingo Casino
There are almost 52 000 flamingos that gather at the 400 hectare water wonderland Kamfer Dam and it's truly a dazzling sight to witness. This is especially true as the species is classified as "near-threatened" due to its declining population.
Most people aren't aware that there are flamingos in South Africa, let alone 50 000 of them. There seems to be a lot of ambiguity surrounding these birds that form part of the genus known as the "purple wing" in Greek. So we've put together some facts and vital information – everything you need to know about lesser flamingos.
There are 6 different species of flamingo and the lesser flamingo is the smallest. The lesser flamingos are found mainly in India, Tanzania, Namibia, and Botswana as well as in South Africa. However, these lanky birds rack up their frequent flyer miles and have been spotted as far afield as Afghanistan!
Bearing a pastel pink plumage, we can't discuss the lesser flamingo without discussing its unique hue. Proudly attesting to the adage "you are what you eat" the pink colour of the feathers come from feasting on the Spirulina algae found in high concentration in the Kamfer Dam. Although the alga is actually blue-green in colour, it contains photosynthetic pigments that give the flamingos their famous pink shade.
Did you know? The flamingo's moulted feathers lose their hue.
The flamingos of Kimberley are a wonderful sight to witness with your special someone or the whole family as the flamingos of Kimberley have decidedly romantic and family-orientated tendencies. Mating for life, a flock (also known as a "flamboyance") of flamingos work together to protect each other and their young. Interestingly, flamingos like to schedule their romance – a flock of flamingos will all mate at the same time so that all the chicks will hatch at the same time. A single white egg is laid on a mound of mud akin to a baby-sized throne. Once the eggs have hatched, the chicks join a flamingo-style crèche organized by a handful of the adult flamingos who guide the chicks to water.
Did you know? Flamingo chicks are born greyish-white and take up to three years to develop their pink plumage.
Now that you are equipped with all the facts to impress your friends and family on your next visit to Kamfer Dam – get going!
Top tip: After your early morning visit to Kamfer Dam, make sure to keep the good times rolling with a delightful lunch at the Harvest Charcoal Grill found just beside the Flamingo Casino.