Monday, October 19, 2015

On Safari With Karen From 17 October 2015

17 October 2015

Today we started a 6-day safari and our first drive was a sunset safari. Well, it was very cloudy so not much sunset to look at, but they still came across some nice animals. There were buffalos, kudus and impalas close to the camp we had noticed upon arrival and in addition the also saw waterbuck, more buffalos, hippos, a fish eagle and elephants in the distance. 

18 October 2015

A rainy start this morning which first intensified before it finally stopped. We had a great morning with lots of sightings and lots of new animals to see, but our highlights were both in the afternoon. 

First we were surprised by a leopard that was strolling alongside the road. This was especially nice since we had missed two earlier leopard sightings today. He strolled along until he got two zebras in his line of vision and then started purposefully walking in their direction. We kept on following for a while, through a drainage line and to the other side. Then he was close, about 15 meters away, he started an elaborate maneuver to walk around them with the wind blowing away from him.

Last we saw he crouched down almost flat to the ground. And then we waited, watching the zebras... We sat watching these zebras graze for about 35 minutes and nothing happened. But it was time for the gates to close soon, so we had to make our way. 

On the last stretch to Skukuza we had another surprise around the corner when 4 wild dogs suddenly appeared out of the grass. Sniffing the air, possibly for prey, they split up and went left and right in twos before rejoining next to the vehicle. Then they kept on walking, but we had to leave these very rare and endangered hunters to make it to camp in time (which we did, by the way, with not even 1 minute spare!) 

Other animals seen: klipspringers, impalas, kudus, common reedbucks, common grey duikers, steenboks, waterbucks, the rare sable antelopes, multiple large herds of buffalos, lots of elephants, white rhinos, zebras, giraffes, warthogs, hippos, crocodiles, hyenas, dwarf mongooses and vervet monkeys. 

Birds included: bateleurs, african fish eagle, kori bustard, pied kingfisher, lilac breasted roller, cape turtle dove, cape glossy starling and green woodhoopoe. 

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