Thursday, March 1, 2012

Our First Safari

After lunch we prepared for our first safari. 
Female Nyala
Male Nyala
 I had always thought of safaris as those treks across the savanna lasting days if not weeks. The term actually simply means a trip that might only last a couple of hours. We get two a day, one in the very early morning and another late in the afternoon. We start as the sun is rising and end after it has disappeared for the night.
Elephant Scratching Post
The Young One is 9 Years
We saw almost everything we are supposed to see here on this first safari. Three elephants had just emerged from their late afternoon bath looking dark and dirty, not the gray we are more familiar with. Nyala seemed to be around every corner. 
One of the few warthogs that would look at us long enough for a picture.

Impala and warthogs were almost as prevalent. One impala had a day old baby.  We saw hippos wallowing in a pond. One square-lip (white) rhino posed for us. Giraffes and wildebeest showed up, too before we were done. Finally, we came upon a cheetah walking along the fence line. Unfortunately, picture-wise it was on the wrong side of the fence.


We saw a lot of birds, too. Our guide has a subtle sense of humor. When I asked him if he could identify some of the birds for us, he said he knows which ones are birds. Later he identified one as inflightus flybyus. He does know most of them by sight. He would bring a book and binoculars the next day. Among those we saw were Egyptian Goose, wood sandpiper, red-winged starling, three-banded plover, crowned lapwing, white-backed vulture, Cape turtle dove, and Wahlberg’s eagle.
White-Backed Vultures

A good first day while we are still recovering from jet lag.

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