Friday, February 26, 2016

On Safari With Gert From 25 February 2016

25 February 2016

Today we started a new Safari with 4 work colleagues from Spain.

Arriving at noon during rather hot conditions, we weren't expecting much activity other than a few Impala, so on our way to camp for check-in we decided to head to a nearby waterhole to see what's around. We spotted 2 Giraffe in the distance and although quite far, it was a good view and the first Giraffe of the safari, so definitely a crowd favorite!

Not much further, along the access road leading to the waterhole we found a Secretary bird on the prowl. Always a popular bird to find with their long legs and familiar quill feathers, striding along looking for a unlucky reptile, mouse or insect, these birds have especially adapted to hunting snakes, although roughly 90% of their diet consist of locusts. We had a very nice view of it hunting, pausing every now and then for a snack and crossing the road in front of us.

At the same time a breeding herd of elephant came out behind it, making their way up from the water towards the main road. We quickly turned back to the main road, just in time as the first elephants started crossing the road. We quietly sat and watched them all, females and youngsters from about 3 years and older. Following them was a bull, just lagging behind slightly and although not showing any obvious signs of musth, he did give us a bit of a head shake after crossing and picking up our scent. It turned out to be a good day for elephant overall, as we also found a few Bulls of various ages throughout the afternoon.

In addition to the Secretary bird, we also found a Wahlberg's Eagle and an African Hawk-Eagle and on the reptile front a Flap-necked Chameleon as well as a baby Leopard Tortoise about 5 cm in diameter!

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