Friday, 14 August 2009

predators large and small



We left Skukuza when the gates opened at 6am, fortified by some strong coffee sold by an enterprising guy at the gate in the predawn chill. It was Greg's first trip to Kruger, and I was really hoping that he'd get to see some lions so I was really pleased when we came across this group, right on the edge of the road. The biggest male (not in this picture) turned and looked right at Greg as he was taking his picture. The resultant shivery hands are the reason that the photo was too much of a blur to publish here! One becomes very aware that the car provides a very false sense of security, and the lions could break their way into them if they realised what tastey morsels were travelling inside!



Less than 100m down the road, we met this group of affectionate giraffe. We noticed during our stay that giraffe tend to travel in threes. Not sure why.




Greg's breakfast toasted sandwich at a picnic spot on the way to Satara was a great attraction to the yellow billed hornbill.




They remind me of velociraptors!




the starlings seem a lot more gentle, but are equally keen to help themselves to any crumbs that may fall. There are signs all over warning people not to feed the animals, but the birds obviously can't read.



we saw some cute vervet monkeys at Satara



and an African Scops owl, no bigger than my hand



some "wild cows," according to Greg, otherwise known as buffalo!



and a sign that was necessary to explain the very green water at Orpen dam where we saw a mother hippo lead her teeny tiny baby into the water. See? that small shape behind her?


We were so ready for bed when we arrived at Olifants that we went to sleep without supper at 6.30pm! Relaxing is exhausting!

9 comments:

Skoorby said...

Great photos! Makes me very envious.

Lynne said...

Skoorby! I've missed you!!

Meri said...

Love the photos, Lynne! I'll send a link to my brother and sister-in-law. They're heading back to S. Africa in a couple of weeks -- a week at a large cat rescue and rehab place plus some photo safari time. My sis-in-law is a feline vet, so the big cats are close to her heart.

Polly said...

Amazing photos. I can't believe they are real. I've never been to Africa and have only seen lions on tv and at the zoo behind bars. It must be a real out of this world experience to see them in the wild...

Lynne said...

Thanks Meri... hope your family enjoy their trip to Africa.

Polly, there is no comparison seeing animals in their natural state rather than in a zoo. It really is an experience worth having if you have a chance. I suppose in some ways Kruger park is a big zoo because the animals are constrained by fences... but the area that they have to roam in is 2 million hectares (bigger than Ireland!)so its the closest you can get to real wildlife!

deryck vs said...

I am super jealous!

It's been far too long since I've been to the bush.

necessary said...

cool shots...love the first bird.

sequoiagardens said...

"relaxing is exhausting" - love it!

I will be in Kruger next weekend for an annual early September long weekend with Rotary friends. Looking forward to it immensely!

I've EVENTUALLY explored your blog and enjoyed it. Liked your 'blog about blogs' - I'm kinda weary of getting too hooked, especially as my connections are slow and expensive. And I'm a one-person operation trying to run a new business (actually a three-part new business: design, nursery and gardening journalism), a farm, a household, a life and a Rotary Club - as I'm the current president. Now wonder I seem to run out of time rather too often!

sequoiagardens said...

"relaxing is exhausting" - love it!

I will be in Kruger next weekend for an annual early September long weekend with Rotary friends. Looking forward to it immensely!

I've EVENTUALLY explored your blog and enjoyed it. Liked your 'blog about blogs' - I'm kinda weary of getting too hooked, especially as my connections are slow and expensive. And I'm a one-person operation trying to run a new business (actually a three-part new business: design, nursery and gardening journalism), a farm, a household, a life and a Rotary Club - as I'm the current president. No wonder I seem to run out of time rather too often!