Sunday, September 2, 2012

Safari highlights and photos


Things I learned on safari:
  • Hippos are shy and skittish- don't get between them and their waterhole. Also, a hippo rolling over in a pool is a sight to see- those stumpy legs waving in the air cracked us up!
  • Elephants are wonderful, and baby elephants are the cutest thing ever when they try to learn to use their trunks or give themselves a dust bath. Adolescent elephants will happily block the road and trumpet to show off until an older female elephant snorts to make them move along.
  • Lions spend a lot of time lounging around and napping. Even when they finally wake up, they may only move 20 feet before lying down for another nap. Lions and elephants don't get along- that group in the road with a lioness and five cubs? They had just had a nasty run-in with a herd of angry elephants who drove them into hiding; we caught the tail end of it before the elephants moved along. It took the lioness a while to round up the five cubs (three are hers, two belong to another lioness) and then even longer to calm them down afterward.
  • Giraffes who suddenly realize lions are in the neighborhood rapidly move along. Watching a male giraffe stalking a female giraffe who is almost in heat is like watching college kids at a club- the guy sidles up and sniffs around, makes a halfhearted move, gets the brushoff, waits a few minutes and then tries the same move again.
  • Leopards are just fabulous- stealthy and beautiful. Sometimes they look right through you. Sometimes they look right at you. Sometimes they like to roll around in dung. 
  • Rhinos are also skittish, especially when leopards are roaming nearby.  Rhinos are also surprisingly fast and rather delicate on their feet when running away from you.
  • Zebras are not skittish and will happily block the road. They are also curious and one is often willing to look right at the camera and pose.
  • Impala are everywhere and are beautiful. Their horns are incredible, and the adolescents play fight seemingly for the crowd before trotting off for water. 
Sabi Sand Wiltuin is an incredible place, one we will definitely visit again. I cannot recommend Londolozi enough- our time there was magical. We will definitely return!


Nomads By Nature said...

WOW!!! You saw just about EVERYTHING! Just seeing your amazing shots makes me miss being stationed in Maputo, so easy to get to safari. What did you think of those open vehicles?? It can be a bit unnerving to be so close with nothing separating you, but so cool!!! I think my favorite shot is the hippo on his back in the water, although you have so many great ones to choose from. Glad you had a great time watching the African wildlife - it's addictive, isn't it?!!

Colleen said...

The open vehicle did give me pause, especially when a leopard walked by so close that I could have put out my hand and touched him! The animals are incredible- we are definitely already thinking about when we can go back. Safari was truly wonderful!

mohsin ali said...

so nice pics