Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Larger than life................

Outside the tent at Little Makalolo.........a sweet bath for visiting birds - not sure what these were, so many awesome birds flying hither and thither in Southern Africa! Some, such as Francolins, doves, and Go-away-birds, can drive you to distraction early in the morning, especially when serenading alongside grunting, snorting hippos....one doesn't require an alarm clock, Nature wakes you at the crack of dawn.  

But.........this post is not about the birds........they were soon history on this particular afternoon, flying away in a hurry when through the trees outside the door I heard a louder noise and could see I was about to be surrounded by larger visitors.

Bob had already gone to main camp, I was alone in the tent.  Apparently it was time for the elephants to leave the waterhole and head back to the bush for tea! Grabbed a camera, took a few quick shots through the open door, then shut myself inside to watch the rumble pass by through the screened windows.


 Munching their way quietly through the trees........gentle giants.


 Mark's tent was next to us.......the eles walked between, a dozen or more passed by, all sizes, large mamas to tiny babies. 


Fortunately they did not stop to check our solar panels - in another of our camps the elephants spent one night not only munching on bushes but digging up the water pipes in search of a quick drink!
Needless to say, when Bob asked what took me so long to get up to main camp, I had a good excuse!

Later that afternoon we were on another game drive - here are some of the animals viewed.........


............a 'raft of hippos'.....the small birds on them are Red-Billed Oxpeckers who cling to game searching for parasites such as ticks. Male hippos can weigh up to 3,000kg and live for 40 years. On land they are speedy for their size, reaching up to 38km an hour. Hippos mate and give birth in water and come ashore mainly at night to feed. They are extremely dangerous to humans. Safari camps are cautious at night often having armed guards in areas where hippos cross from water to land.

The handsome young male Greater kudu - fully grown they weigh up to 600 pounds. Their magnificent horns will have twisted two and a half times by age six.

Handsome male Sable antelopes - read more HERE about these gorgeous creatures.

This female giraffe, the lighter colored one, was playing hard to get and we were laughing as we followed along..........

 ............for quite some time............

 .........but she never gave in and he eventually gave up trying!

Meanwhile, back at the waterhole, all was was calm.....

....giraffe, Burchell's zebra, elephant and warthog sharing the waterhole in a truly bucolic setting.

 Me, Paula, and Kim, out of the vehicle and ready for a tea break.............after chasing giraffes across the plains of Zimbabawe!


 A sweet family of giraffes, always quiet and prone to staring!
All in all a wonderful afternoon of game viewing which is what Africa is all about.

11 comments:

  1. I loved seeing that collection of animals at the watering hole all drinking peacefully side by side. Just beautiful! Have a great day! Tammy

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  2. So many animals and the land looks so dry...no wonder they all go to the watering hole. This post reminds us that you are in the WILD and a tent is not much to have between yourself and a herd of elephants.

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  3. I love the picture of the zebras. They really do stand out!

    XO,
    Jane

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  4. One of the best kind of shivers ran up my spine when I saw the elephant parade through your campground. How spectacular! And I think giraffes and zebras are the funniest of animals. Such fabulous photos!

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  5. Looking at the watering hole with four different animals I thought wouldn't it be nice if different humans could live like that. Your trip was truly amazing.

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  6. Incredible pictures Mary. You sure were up close and personal to the elephants as they passed through. Are you home now?

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  7. How awesome is mother nature and her animals! Thanks for sharing! Jeannette

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  8. How beautiful - the photo of the different animals together, like an illustration from a children's story.
    I'd love to have heard the sound of the elephants approaching.

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  9. I have always loved elephants, and my hubby has always loved giraffes. How exciting it would be to see them in Africa! How wonderful that you were able to make such a trip, Mary. You must have just loved every single minute seeing so many wonders of nature!

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  10. I think I would have waited too! Such an exciting trip!

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