I Spy With My Little Eye.....


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Published: April 22nd 2013
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Total Distance: 0 miles / 0 kmMouse: 0,0


...Animals Extraordinaire! We just spent 10 glorious days in the bush (well, fairly civilized camps that are fenced in areas with a store, cafeteria, etc, but we only showered once!) in our little green tent. We were even joined by a pumba outside our tent on our last night....a momma, poppa and baby must have liked our patch of grass. We were less keen to see a hyena outside our tent the night before. Thankfully the hyena, unlike our pumba, was on the other side of the fence, but still!

I will let the pictures speak for themselves - it was very hard to narrow down our choices. We loved every minute of it, and were totally mesmerized about how little the animals cared about our vehicle. These are WILD animals....it was phenomenal. Our typical day was:



get up at 4:30 am.

get dressed, maybe brush teeth.

go on an open jeep ride from our camp from 5-8 (morning rides were the best because there were often only a few other visitors willing to get up so early, and we saw the best animals then too).

back to camp to pack up our tent and eat some breakfast sitting on a tree stump (beans and bread with lots of margarine).

drive through the morning to our next destination camp.

snooze in the afternoon.

maybe an open jeep ride from 5-8 pm.

listen to ipod book on tape (just finished Life of Pi) in sleeping bags

sleep

get up at 4:30.



Haha - who would have thought i would enjoy waking up early!



We are now back in Johannesburg for a few days - touring Soweto and the Apartheid Museum tomorrow, and then the Sterkfonein caves the next day (aka the Cradle of Humankind, aka the home of friggin Australiopithicus africanus - cooooool!). Hoping to sneak a visit to a Cheetah breeding/rescue center as well. Then it's off to .... duh duh duh duh...... KILIMANJARO!


Additional photos below
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about 5:30...about 5:30...
about 5:30...

we saw a real live, wild, leopard. She walked right past us - she was beautiful and nonchalant.
Road side snoozeRoad side snooze
Road side snooze

These guys were snoozing on the road (about 6 am). Our guide told us the black pavement stays warm so they like to spend the night on it.
Hyena on the lookoutHyena on the lookout
Hyena on the lookout

Their sounds are just as ridiculous as their looks! wooooooooo-yip!
our humble abode!our humble abode!
our humble abode!

no pumbas allowed inside!
wild dogwild dog
wild dog

we saw one pack of wild dogs. they are not very common. i'm not sure if they would make friends with Jack or not.....
Speaking of dogsSpeaking of dogs
Speaking of dogs

...this was at one of the camps we stayed at. See next pic.
Ranger Steve!Ranger Steve!
Ranger Steve!

checking out the area on our 3 day wilderness trail.
We spotted a liz!We spotted a liz!
We spotted a liz!

Eating a yummy cracker on a rock.
BaboonsBaboons
Baboons

This papa was keeping on eye on the family as they played around down below.
Eastern Ground HornbillEastern Ground Hornbill
Eastern Ground Hornbill

Endangered, so sightings have to be reported. Funny looking!
ImpalaImpala
Impala

Now, if i could just get that stupid Skee-lo song out of my head.
Checking us outChecking us out
Checking us out

Early morning, they must have just made a kill (yuck, i'm glad i'm veggie!). Both of their bellies were swollen, and they just strolled along the road, then around our vehicle, then into the grassland.
It was a very hot day todayIt was a very hot day today
It was a very hot day today

Someone told us it hit 48 in the sun. oy!


22nd April 2013

Amazing pictures!
Liz and Steve, These images are gorgeous! Looks like you guys are having a good time!! :) Tara
23rd April 2013
wild dog

Clever Girl
I remember the segment on African wild dogs from "Planet Earth". They are s.m.a.r.t. Vicious of course, too. But smart, extremely social pack hunters that coordinate and work together like the best team of soldiers you could imagine. Neat that you got to see some of them IRL.
23rd April 2013
wild dog

good memory!
they are super smart and will hunt in a relay or tag team kind of way - very co-ordinated and pre-planned. we saw a pack of about 8 of them....one of most special experiences in the park. interestingly, they are not territorial with other wild dogs. we haven't been able to figure out (yet) why their numbers are so low. we had a mammal guide book with us from 1984 and it said they were quite common. Our guide was not sure why they have declined, but siad that in the past few years, their numbers are increasing. sightings have to be reported to the park authorities so they can track how they are doing. simply amazing to see them interacting with one another.
23rd April 2013
Road side snooze

wow.
Uh... kind of like the moose of Africa? ;)
23rd April 2013
Road side snooze

...but more endangered :(
almost 700 were poached last year in Kruger park alone...fueling TCM. At least it is getting national attention here - we have read quite a bit about the poaching issues in the media and in the national park publications. we met many lovely white rhinos during our trip - these guys just sat there for about 5 minutes until our driver nudged them along. they did a cute "little" skip jump when they decided we actually wanted to pass by them.
23rd April 2013
It just rained

You could say he...
... needs a gnu umbrella.
23rd April 2013
It just rained

groan
groan groan groan!
23rd April 2013

Hi Steve and Liz!!
You guys are having an amazing adventure! Keep up with the blog postings (and the photos!). Can't wait to hear stories when you get back!
23rd April 2013

Hi Steve and Liz!!
You guys are having an amazing adventure! Keep up with the blog postings (and the photos!). Can't wait to hear stories when you get back!
23rd April 2013
Road side snooze

THUMP
I'm trying to picture that "cute little skip jump", and failing. But yeah, rhino poaching is possibly one of the planet's stupidest and most evil activities, especially when you consider what drives the market for the horns. It's one of the things that will make people of the future look back and say "what the hell was wrong with them then?"
23rd April 2013
wildebeast

Pushmepullyu
I think this is really a pushmepullu!
23rd April 2013
wild dog

I seriously doubt...
that Jack would make friends with them!!!
24th April 2013

You two must be in your glory..... That is an amazing array of wildlife. Thanks so much for sharing the journey! Sharon
24th April 2013

Great times in the bush!
Glad you are having a wonderful time.
25th April 2013

Insane!
Pumbas are real?
10th May 2013

Yes!
and i love them.
28th April 2013

So I read puma and Jonathan had to correct me to pumba. And give me a geography lesson. Jboy also tells me you have a super wicked awesome camera! We are thrilled about your adventuring, and loving the pics. Have you asked your rangers yet whether they have seen a rhino stomp out a fire...? :)Heather & Jonathan

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