Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's NOT the ZOO!

I am back and what an adventure. Kruger National Park, South Africa is a gem. Almost unspoiled. There were signs of humans; and as usual it was trash. But not nearly as much as we would have seen in an American National Park; certainly no Walmart bags with used diapers anywhere to be seen, (I saw this in Yellowstone on the side of the road in more than one place!!! And let’s face it lots of other places too.)

Remember, if you want to see more of a photo, just click on it for a larger veiw!

Animal Sighting Board- there are small colored magnetic dots,
(blue is elephant, green Cape Buffalo, black Leopard, red lion, etc.)

We arrived on a Friday afternoon and from the minute we entered the gate, Malalane Gate, we saw animals.  We checked the “Sightings Board” to see what animals have been seen and where in the park. When folks go out and find animals… they post where they saw them…. It’s supposed to help, but we wondered if sometimes the dots are just thrown up. Keep in mind that this is not a zoo; all the animals are wild, really wild. The park is about 200 miles long and about 30 miles wide. The speed limit on paved roads is 50 kph (31 mph) and 40 kph (25 mph) on the dirt. You cannot get out of your car unless it's in a designated place and at your own risk. The Guest Camps are all heavily fenced and electrified to keep the animals out. At night the entrance gates are closed, at about 6:30 and open in the morning at 4:30. And believe me; folks are up and on their way that early.
The traffic on the roads, both paved and unpaved was busy over the weekend... but the weekdays were very calm. It is almost high summer here, (but school is still in session so it's really all adults), so it is HOT. Not supposed to be this hot yet, but it was so worth the heat! The hottest day we were there, the high reach 107 F!

So about Kruger…. There is so much to see- Species wise there are 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Of the mammals…. Black Rhino 300, Blue Wildebeest 31k, Cape Buffalo 16k, Burchells Zebra 23k, Cheetah 225, Elephant 12k, Giraffe 7k, Impala 130k, Kudu 4k, Leopard 950, Lion 2k, Spotted Hyena 2k, Warthog 4k, Waterbuck 3k, White Rhino 35k and Wild Dog, 350!



I'll save the commentary for later posts... about every other day... maybe more... and share some of the pictures... in general NOW.



At the end will be a question, please answer in a comment. I'm curious.



A tall male giraffe!

Mom and her calf.

Doesn't this fellow look like he's smiling? (there is another elephant
in the water and a Cape Buffalo taking a drink)

One of the 114 reptiles in the park!

How many US National Parks have you visited? Which is your favorite and why?



Beth

4 comments:

Karen S said...

I think I have probably visited every US National Park that is in the states of WA, OR, CA, AZ, NM, ID, CO, WY, WI, Montana, and a few more in the rest of the states west of the Mississippi. Oh, and ARK and MO. We camped a lot when I was a kid. Never saw any of these animals, though.

Nice pics -- I love the smiling elephant. And the mother and her calf.

Happy Birthday!

Karen S said...

Oh! My favorite is probably Yosemite. We went there a lot -- there used to be a little campground just outside (El Portal?) where we stayed. I love Lassen too.

Sara said...

hhmmm...haven't a clue as to how many parks I've visited but can say that most of them would have been on the east coast.

Great post/pictures. I really do like giraffes....might have to make a quilt on giraffes.

Anonymous said...

Wow what awesome photos! You were so lucky to see those animals and I hear Kruger is absolutely bee-u-t-ful!