Friday, October 14, 2011

Kruger Visit #3

One of the most amazing places to visit in South Africa is Kruger National Park. It is huge, it is quiet and it is AMAZING! All you can hear is bird calls and insects… occasionally the sounds of animals, the snort of warning from an Impala buck, an elephant trumpet, or the screech or bark from a monkey.

We went back to the park. We were there nearly a year ago, and again in March. Neither one of us gets tired of seeing the ‘wild’ animals and nature. We stayed in a different camp than we have before, but we are thinking we won’t go to the north again. There are animals, but not enough relief for the eyes…

So what did we see or hear this time… Well of course all the usual characters, Wildebeest, Waterbuck, Kudu, Zebras, Vervet Monkeys and Baboons.

cr-cheetah-1We spotted Cheetah twice. It is an animal that we haven’t seen before, so it was a thrill to see them not once, but twice!!! The first ones were close enough to count the spots, the second ones…

2-cheetah

(Mom and juvenile) were a bit further away.

We explored an area we had  not been to before… there was a bird hide on the water, and we found some Fish Eagles.

cr-fish-eagleFrom what we could tell, it was a pair, trying to talk a young into flying…. we could hear at least 3 birds. These guys are territorial, so we don’t think it was more adults. Here I have one in flight.

We stopped at another bird hide that we have been to before. We always see something different each time. Last year it was the Fish Eagles, this time a herd of about 100 Cape Buffalo crossing the river and some water birds,

cr-african-spoonbill

a Spoonbill.

lipping-capeI don’t know what this Buffalo was doing… or if they do this regularly… but I thought is was kinda funny…. It seems that other creatures are doing this too.

We saw this giraffe before we got to the hide!

cr-lipping-giraffe

and I think I saw a zebra doing it too.

And since its October… halloween-tree

a photo for Halloween, a tree full of Vultures. I can’t tell which species it is, so we will leave it as generic. When we spotted this tree, the vultures were very still, so we got out the binoculars for a look. It seems that quite a few of them were asleep….

Two things I don’t have pictures of:

While driving to the hide we happened on a few elephants. They were not clustered, but here and there eating individually…. As we were driving past one, it got a little uptight. When a male elephant gets into a bad mood -shakes his head at you and stomps his feet -you better pay attention! We did and stopped the car and reversed a few feet and then waited. It seems we interrupted a courtship.

On Sunday, we took another morning game walk (had to get up at 3:30 in the morning). We love the walks because you see so much more of the park. This time the walk itself didn’t reveal as much as others we have been on, but the drive to the walking area (it is just away from the camp and off the main road), we found a family of hyena. Our guide was much more knowledgeable about animals and the environment than on our other walks. There were 4 adults, a couple of males (smaller than females) and at least one female and she had a young cub. It was well before dawn, and flash photography is a big no-no… so no picture, but the cub was small, had it’s eyes open and teeth… I am guessing about 6 weeks or so. When hyenas are cubs they are at their cutest, that is for SURE!

As always…. something… More Later:

Beth

1 comment:

Jan said...

The cheetah are beautiful. I have only seen one in the far distance. Nice that you could get so close.