Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kurger National Park: Part 2

White-backed Vultures
African Elephant
The days on this Safari start at 5:30am for coffee and a muffin and we’re in the trucks by 6 to drive into the bush looking for animals for three hours until we return to camp to a huge breakfast.  Then we’re free until 2:30 (to nap and edit photos) when there is a snack, big enough to be a lunch, and leave for another drive and rush back to the camp by 6pm because the safari companies are fined if they are out past that time so it is easier for the park to properly patrol for rhino poachers.  Then dinner is from 7:30pm until about 9.  I think everyone else then heads to bed, but I end up staying awake for another two to three hours uploading and starting to edit the hundreds of photos from that day.  I kept up with editing photos the first two days, but I’m writing this on day five and I’m almost halfway through the photos from day three.

Martial Eagle
Impala
I’ve never really been on a guided trip before.  It is great being a client.  It is so nice to not have to think for once.  I just have to show up when they tell me to and there is food and the plans are already made.  And the food is absolutely amazing.  

Burchell's Zebra
African Hawk-Eagle
Marabou Stork
The last few days have been pretty slow when it comes to spotting animals.  Hippos were the most exciting things for me, but there we drives when we’d hardly even see an elephant.  But the drive this evening changed that.  It started out slow, with just a few warthogs and impala and a giraffe.  After almost an hour we spotted another leopard (the third of the week) lounging in the middle of the road.  We were the only vehicle around, and only four of us in it, and watched it for about 20 minutes taking photos and video (I’ll put up videos in another post soon). We eventually left the leopard and all decided that if we didn’t see another animal for the rest of the evening we’d be happy.  Less than ten minutes later we saw a lion…and another….and another until all ten lions (a male, three females and six cubs) emerged from the grass on a hunting mission.  We followed them down the road for a while since they didn’t seem to want to get out of the way for us.  They ran back into the grass and we drove ahead to the rhinos that we’d spotted in the distance at the same time as the lions. The two white rhinos didn’t stick around long when we drove up, but we ended up seeing eight more before the end of the day.  After turning back toward the camp we ran into a heard of over a hundred water buffalo, a few dozen vultures, an elephant and a few zebras.  Besides seeing a kill I don’t think anything could top this drive.  I could go home happy now, but I still have 2 days left. 

Buffalo
African Elephant
Lions!


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