Thursday, October 22, 2015

On Safari With Karen 21 October 2015

21 October 2015

So far we had two lion sightings this safari and both were nice, but not 100% great.
As both times we had to look through bushes and around trees, we were longing for a better view of some nice lions and today we were rewarded.

After a third mediocre lion sighting we ended up at an amazing sighting of a mating pair. They were in an open area quite close to the road so there was a nice view for everyone at the sighting. Upon arrival the lions were sleeping but we had time and patience so we hang around a while. When the lady was ready she went up to her mate and made him get up too. They shortly mated and it looked like it was more of a compulsory affair than that they actually had fun. Possibly this was the end of their honeymoon period and the male was just tired by now. However the guests had great enjoyment in watching the affair go down, even though it was subdued. It resulted in some great pictures and a video!

Our second highlight was spending our siesta time at Transport Dam. We couldn't check-in in our new camp till two pm, so after lunch we drove to the dam and enjoyed a bit of national geographic live. 

There were elephants swimming in the dam which looked like fun, and then two exited the water close by to have some bushy snacks. The last one in the water got a visit from a hippo that might have wanted to impress the elephant but when he got within two meters he made a big splash and the hippo dashed away. 

Also there were waterbucks hanging around, Warthogs and zebras came, had a drink and went. We watched Egyptian geese get frantic about something, a pied wagtail taking a bath, an African jacana walking by and a fish eagle flew over too.

And three kudu bulls came for a drink too, only to be chased away by an angry elephant. We have no idea what the kudus had done to him as he was eating the bushes on the other side when they arrived, but he purposefully walked around and then ran after the kudus. A very unfair fight it was!!

Other interesting sightings included reptiles like a tree agama, rainbow skink, side-striped skink, giant plated lizard, leopard tortoise, water monitor and a crocodile.

Also we saw a reedbuck, steenbok, lots more zebras, giraffes, a herd of elephants, buffalos, hyenas three times (once when a hyena came out of its layer in the heat of the day, did a poo and went back into its layer to sleep!), bushbucks, impalas, and a new animal: blue wildebeest.

Birds included green woodhoopoes, hadeda ibis, goliath heron, cattle egret, grey heron, brown snake eagle, bateleurs, black stork, three banded plover, helmeted guineafowls, purple crested turacos, grey go-away birds, magpie shrikes and two giant kingfishers. 

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