11 Jun2014

Photo 1

We had already seen an incredible variety of animals in the bush. While the Cape Buffalo would escape us on this trip, we were extremely fortunate to see other magnificent creatures during our morning and afternoon drives. Six out of the “Magnificent Seven” was more than we could ever have expected on a three night, four day safari. Some of the other animals we spotted included a jackal stalking in the high grass…

Photo 2

…we heard donkey-like braying that came from Zebras.

Photo 3

Are they white horses with black stripes or the other way around? It was curious to see birds on their backs, getting a free ride from the zebras. It is a symbiotic relationship, our guide explained. The birds feed on the ticks on the zebras and the zebras rid themselves of the parasitic ticks. This was a relationship that we would see on many animals… rhinos, giraffe, etc.

photo 4

Birds on their backs or not, we saw the zebras doing the wild thing in the wild!

Photo 5

On an early morning drive, we drove up to a small pond and wondered how two incredibly smooth grey rocks seemed incredibly out of place in the middle of the water…

Photo 6

… just then, the smaller rock moved and ears, eyes and nostrils came up to take a breath. The rocks were two male hippos napping in the water hole. Sipho, our guide, explained that they had probably been kicked out of their herd and were now on their own.

Photo 7

Not lost to our guides Sipho and Louis were the avian creatures in the bush: the birds. We saw a lilac breasted roller, so called because they perform these rolling acrobatic turns in flight…

photo 8

…a bateleur eagle, characterized by their short tails, was perched on a twig…

photo 9

…and a male bearded woodpecker busy searching for insects.

photo 10

There were wildebeests, also known as gnus, grazing under the watchful eyes of the bull…

photo 11

… who seemed to be cautiously watching us. We were told that they are incredibly stupid, following each other like lemmings.

photo 12

On another afternoon drive, as we drove by a grassy field, a warthog ran across and stopped to look at us. Looking very Pumbaa like, he raised his face to us and we clearly saw the characteristic warts on his face. Our guides told us that they sometimes eat warthogs, roasting them with herbs and spices.

Photo 13

On our last drive, we came across a troop of baboons. They were in a frenzy and our guide said they were in the process of figuring out the new alpha male.

Photo 14

I guess this baboon lost because we saw him high tailing it out of the group! We also saw but didn’t get photos of several mongoose crossing the roads, a Mozambique spitting cobra (venomous) right at our feet on the path from our villa to the main lodge, and a few others I can’t recall the names of. It was an exhilarating four days in the bush, an experience that we know will be with us for many years to come!

This post written by Mrs. MM. She is writing the giraffe one as well. Too much material from one trip! And this was only up to Day 3 or so. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Lou says:

    I wonder how you got away from the spitting cobra. I would have stood there like rock, not knowing what to do, scared the shit out of me

    Jun 11, 2014 | 10:35 am

     
  2. Betchay says:

    “….doing the wild thing in the wild…” Mrs.MM you are equally funny too! :)

    Jun 11, 2014 | 10:56 am

     
  3. Connie C says:

    If the buffaloes escaped you this time, you probably don’t need another bloodcurdling moment as with the lion and leopard encounters, although the animals after having had a fill of their prey, were less likely to bother you. But how complacent can one really be?

    Our hair-raising experience happened on an evening drive when we came upon a herd of buffaloes crossing the road midway, probably more than thirty heads of them. We stopped to take photos and just after we thought they had crossed and were finally moving on, a large one, probably the head of the herd turned around , just several feet away, lowered its head and with an angry stare and then a twist of its neck appeared to make it known that we better go on our way. Our ranger promptly headed us back to the lodge as we all heaved a sigh of relief and regrouped.

    Jun 11, 2014 | 11:48 am

     
  4. Thel from Florida says:

    OK doki, another WINNER! Thank you kindly :)

    Jun 11, 2014 | 2:36 pm

     
  5. Footloose says:

    Allow me to reintroduce to those who are interested two suitable musical accompaniments to the beasts in question, the hippopotamus and the wildebeest:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QW85kfakJc

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGVdCGxh1IY

    Jun 11, 2014 | 4:24 pm

     
  6. Nadia says:

    Gary Gnu!!!! From the Great Space Coaster!!! Oh my…does anybody still remember him??? Ha ha ha. If you do, then we are probably of the same generation :) I can’t believe there was a real animal behind him. So cool.

    Jun 11, 2014 | 8:14 pm

     
  7. Ynna says:

    I googled the lilac-breasted roller for a closer shot photo…and it looks absolutely amazing!!

    Jun 11, 2014 | 9:16 pm

     
  8. kristin says:

    thank you for this wonderful african safari…its nice going places with you :)

    Jun 12, 2014 | 12:20 am

     
  9. marilen says:

    Start of a great summer for many of us in the MM ‘family’ – we have been going on safari!!!! Thank you for sharing.

    Jun 12, 2014 | 2:54 am

     
  10. Mart says:

    Warthog lechon. Mmm…

    @Nadia
    Yes, I too got on board the Great Space Coaster. And New Zoo Revue.

    Jun 12, 2014 | 6:03 am

     
  11. millet says:

    hmmm… i realized only now that zebras have gray stripes between the black and white ones! Mrs. MM, you’re so funny too!

    Jun 12, 2014 | 7:55 am

     
  12. zena says:

    There’s no gnu, like a good gnu, like Gary Gnu!

    Jun 12, 2014 | 6:31 pm

     
 

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