Friday, July 28, 2017

In Which We Got Closer To A Lion Than I'd Anticipated

We got to experience two morning drives and two late afternoon/evening drives on our safari. This was our last afternoon drive and our third one overall. I wasn't sure if there would be new things to spot or if we'd seen a lot of it already. I should have known better...
The first thing we saw was this huge buffalo. Our safari guide, Andrew, said this buffalo was like a "grumpy, old man." I figured it was because of the huge set of horns on his head. I know they protect him but it still looks really uncomfortable to me.
This bird was just gorgeous and we watched it for a bit.
Then we found the Hippo River, as I called it. Unlike our previous hippo experience (which you can read about here), these ones were mostly submerged and just took turns coming up for air. Andrew said it was hard to judge exactly how many hippos there were in this spot. You can see a lot of pairs of hippo eyes in the picture with Sam.
I was glad we didn't get very close to this crocodile. He was rather large!
I never got tired of seeing the wide open spaces of the savannah. Especially as the sun was starting to set. It reminded me so much of Saskatchewan with the wide open spaces and big skies.
As we drove up to the airstrip in the conservancy to search for a cheetah, we ran into an even more interesting encounter. First we saw these two hyenas.
They were bothering this lioness who had a kill. They had stolen some of it from her, and were taunting her with part of it. She decided to drink from this pool, rather than engage with them.

This picture of her drinking with the sunset in the back was one of my most favourite pictures I took our whole trip.
You can see in the picture of Rachel looking out of the vehicle how close we were to her. It was amazing, and unnerving, at the same time.
She nicely posed for a picture for me and then went back to whetting her thirst. Ha!
Sam really liked these birds and wanted me to take this picture.

Since we stayed to watch the lioness and hyenas interact for so long, it was quite dark as we headed back home. When we started on our safari, Andrew had asked the kids which animal they were most looking forward to seeing. Rachel answered, "A bunny!" Of course. Andrew said that there was something called a scrub hare which was similar to a bunny, which we might see, if we were lucky.

As we were driving back to the camp, suddenly Dennis, our driver, stopped the car. "Look Rachel," he exclaimed, and sure enough, a scrub hare was caught in the headlights of our vehicle. The hare paused for about fifteen seconds and then bounded away. As we drove away, Rachel exclaimed under her breath, "Yes!" It was such a beautiful moment for me.

And I would say that defined our safari experience. We saw all the animals we wanted to see. We got to see a lot of amazing encounters between different species of wildlife. We got to see everything so up close and personal. It was beyond our wildest imaginings. And there was still one last drive left to experience...

2 comments:

  1. All these amazing experiences and my favorite part is that your kids are old enough to actually remember it!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is so funny about the interaction between the hyenas and lionness!

    ReplyDelete

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