Africa Winter 2012

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February 12th 2012
Published: February 12th 2012
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Crocadile teeth!Crocadile teeth!Crocadile teeth!

Yes- he's real- and very close! But I was in the boat!
Today we saw our first ELEPHANT. In Ontario, we worry mostly about deer crossing the road while you are driving. (I know my Dad hit a cow in the Florida keys once....??????)

Here in Africa,, the worries are a tad bigger! As we were driving along the road, there he was- our first elephant! There are no fences and the elephants roam free- actually- we did see one fence- which the elephant calmly stepped over.......

There is nothing quite so intimidating as looking at an elephant close up- beside you or even beside your vehicle! They are BIG BIG BIG!!!

This area of Botswana has the highest population of elephants in Africa- approximately 120,000.

We stayed at a place called Elephant Sands- aptly named! This was another bush camp type resort, with the power shutting down around 10. There were many jokes made about what to do if you encountered an elephant on the road as you walked back to your cabin in the dark.....

Just after dinner, the cry went out about an elephant at the watering hole- just beside the restaurant. Of course- we all rushed down to look! While we watched, the Mr.
Swimming CrocSwimming CrocSwimming Croc

They can only attack from in the water.....
Elephant meandered all the way around the pond, and headed up to the restaurant- right where we were standing. We all backed up slowly , slowly- they say never to run from an animal- but I'm not sure I want to test that theory when faced looking up 10 feet into the face – and tusks- of a bizillion kilogram elephant! Luckily, he decided we weren't that interesting- and took a few steps away to play with a stick lying on the ground. Unfortunately, it was dark- and the photos didn't turn out at all. It was suggested we did not use a flash at such close range!!!!The only thing more intimidating than an elephant- is an angry elephant!!!!

We enjoyed watching him for quite a while- he munched on a tree, and the grass, right beside our bus parked at the restaurant edge. Close encounters of the natural kind!!!!

Now I didn't find the jokes about walking down the path and meeting an elephant quite so funny......

Next stop- Chobe National Park. Here , we enjoyed a river cruise. Mark and I took different cruises- I took the regular one- with his camera- and
Moving CrocMoving CrocMoving Croc

ON his way to the water
he took a special Photographic cruise. On this cruise, the cameras were supplied- complete with swivel chair- telephoto lens- and the expertise of the guide- a photographer. Mark figures the equipment was worth about $15,000.! Good thing a rhino didn't come along and upset the boat!

Here's the good news and the other good news! Mark received a disk, with copies of his 400 or so pictures- BUT- we have no way of looking at them here with us! Our notebook does not take a disc. SO- you will have to settle for the amateur picture taking of me..........and it's not too bad- if I do say so myself!!!! I took a zillion- just to be sure I got some good ones- so here are the best.

WE saw our first Rhinocerous- our first buffalo and our first alligator. Here in Africa, they have the BIG FIVE as they call it- 5 most dangerous animals here. The lion, the elephant, the leopard, the rhino and the buffalo. The most dangerous of all being the buffalo- they say you can't tell when he will attack- making him the one to be most wary of.

Alligators and giraffes don't' make the list!

Our guide was able to anticipate that the elephants were going to cross the river- he did that because they start to line up- one behind the other-

We were fortunate to watch them go- complete with underwater swimming ! Synchro swimmers beware!!!! There was much “body scratching” against the tree after the swim!

I'll say no more- just let the pictures speak for themselves! Enjoy!

Additional photos below
Photos: 34, Displayed: 24


Built in SnorkelBuilt in Snorkel
Built in Snorkel

The next photoghapher for National geographic
Elephant on the roadElephant on the road
Elephant on the road

But who's counting?

12th February 2012

Elephants et al
Great photos! I can't believe how up close and personal you can actually get with the wildlife. Looks like a great vacation. Keep me coming.....
12th February 2012

What a fabulous trip you are having - those are some great wildlife pictures but I can only imagine how much more impressive it is to see the real thing, and up so close! Looking forward to seeing Mark's "pro" photos too when you get back. Is he planning to upgrade his camera to one like that?
13th February 2012

Loving the blog!
Hey guys ... your trip sounds awesome ... and has us starting our planning for next year. Great pictures ... love the camera Mark ... would love to play with one of those for sure. Laundry day here after a busy weekend ... Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert, Arizona statehood 100 year celebrations, golf and the International Hoop Dancing competition at the Heard Museum of Native American History with our trailer friends (formerly cruisers) who are staying close by. Off to San Diego to meet the newest grand baby this weekend coming. Keep posting the blog and pics, Jeanne and Dave

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