It’s not unusual when you’re travelling through another country to marvel, and take a bit of a nosey, at some of the unusual and different homes you pass along the way. There are some fine examples in the arid Northern Cape en route to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and a few weeks ago, on our way back from the national park on our latest South Africa visit, we stopped off to take some photographs of several remarkable high-rise homes that merited attention.
The massive ‘penthouse suites’ in question were the distinctive communal nests of colonies of tiny birds known as sociable weavers. The nests look like clumsy haystacks that have somehow ended up on the top of telegraph poles lining the road. In the absence of nearby trees the birds make use of these handy man-made structures to construct their remarkable nests. Marvels of engineering, the nests have multiple chambers inside housing up to 500 birds and can keep their occupants cosy in the Kalahari’s cold semi-desert winters and cool when temperatures rise to more than 40 degrees in the summer.
Our picture story about these fantastic bird houses was picked up by several news outlets earlier this month and you can see more of our images of their crazy nests via this link to one of the pieces in the Mail Online.