Thursday, April 16, 2015

On Safari With Karen and Mark 15 April 2015

15 April 2015 (Karen’s vehicle)

Another day on this safari and it was another good day. We have seen plenty of elephants today, including lone bulls crossing the road in front or behind us, as well as a lovely herd standing in the shade where the little baby elephants were lying in the middle protected by their big mothers and aunties. But the best elephant sighting came at the end of the day. As we came close we saw two elephants quickly crossing the road and while following their movements through the bush we soon found out why. The female was in heat and the young male around her saw his chances with no big bull around. She wasn't really intending to give it to him that easy, so she kept on trotting away from him. However, in the time while we were watching he got lucky 2 times. Maneuvering her in such a position she couldn't really walk away, he mounted her and did his job. So maybe in 22 months she can welcome a baby elephant into this world. Judging by her size and therefor age, it will probably be her first one.

Our second highlight was a troop of baboons. They kept us entertained for quite some time with their behavior. There were kings that just sat on the side of the road posing for pictures, youngsters playing in the road, other youngster playing up and down the trees, mothers with babies on their backs walking by. At one stage there was a conundrum of sound as by the sounds of it a youngster had done something it shouldn't have and was punished by an elderly. We also heard an alarm calling baboon, but it was out of site. None of the baboons close to us seem worried, but as we hadn't seen a leopard yet, we fantasized one was chasing the baboons...

Other interesting sightings: lions, buffalos, steenboks, waterbucks, bateleurs, two lots of circling white-backed vultures, waterbucks, plenty of hippos, zebras, crocodiles, woolly-necked storks, multiple white rhinos, including one crossing the road in front of us, guineafowls, tawny eagles mating, brown snake eagles, vervet monkeys, warthogs, pretty kudu bulls and females, giraffes, impalas, marabou storks, a hooded vulture, common grey duiker running away, klipspringers and a spotted hyena.

At Mathekanyan we enjoyed the view, while our guests as geology students and lecturers were analyzing all the rocks and their cracks and weathering patterns. It was a very enjoyable day!

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