It was SO hot today in Gauteng that even the ostriches took to the water. Although the big winged birds can’t fly, they can swim… but it’s a rare and special occurrence. RIA VILJOEN caught the magical scene at Moreleta Nature Reserve as the ostriches – and their chicks – took a dip to cool off.

“It was the hottest day in a long time,” she says, and the ostriches in the water was “the biggest surprise”.

Ria’s been visiting the Reserve – which has wonderful walking trails – for years, but this special sighting was a “real first”.

“I’ve seen the ostriches drinking water before, but never have I seen them sitting in the water!” says Ria. Several other people were also taking photos and videos of the rare incident.

After the boiling hot day where temperatures soared to over 35 degrees celcius, there are now “glorious showers of rain pouring from the heavens”.

SA Weather Service has issued alerts for severe thunderstorms in Gauteng on Monday.

Watch Ostriches take rare swim in Pretoria on extremely hot day