Sunday, August 31, 2014

Africa 8: The African Spirit is Alive and Well

In Africa post number 4, I said the spirit of Africa is alive and well.  I would like to introduce, here, and in future posts, a few, of the many wonderful, amazing people we were privileged to meet.  People who, with all their combined brothers and sisters, make up the spirit of Africa.
This is Sisasenkosi, who had us call him Sisa.  He was our trip leader for the southern half of our adventure.

Photographing these folks was a joy.
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Africa 7: Leopards in a Trees

Seeing a Leopard is high on the list of many animal lovers who come to visit African wildlife.

But, Leopards are often difficult to find because they are mostly nocturnal and spend their days sleeping in trees.

Sometimes, we see evidence that a leopard is nearby, such as the tree above.

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Africa 6: We Come Upon a Lioness with a Fresh Kill

This was the dry season.  Other sources of water have dried up, forcing the animals to visit the river in order to get water.

That's good news for predators, like the crocodile, above.  Notice how well he blends in to his surroundings.  But bad news for other animals.

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Africa 5: Wild Dogs Go After a Lion

It was nearly sundown on our first day.  We were headed back to our game reserve lodge from the Chobe National Park entrance.  On our left, we saw a bunch of what looked like dogs intently eyeing something.

Our driver guide immediately pulled off the road and stopped.
The object of their focus was a male lion.  We then learned that this was a pack of wild dogs.  Wild dogs are some of the fiercest hunters in all of Africa.  Only rarely do they fail to take down their prey.

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Africa 4: Africa is About so Much More, continued.

The truth is I had apprehensions about making this trip.  On the one hand, I wanted to see a large swath of Africa.
Warthog.  Ugly as sin.  Can be ornery if cornered.

On the other hand, Africa has huge challenges with terrible governments, poverty, disease, sanitation, lack of basic infrastructure, etc

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Africa 3: Safaris in Africa Are About So Much More...

...than Lions and Elephants and Rhinos.  Africa's national parks also host a wide array of animal habitat and other wildlife.
One of the Entrances to Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Chobe National Park in Botswana, for example, is large, 4517 square miles.  (That's a bit smaller than the state of Connecticut.)

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Africa 2: We See a Lion Our First Morning.

It was early our first morning out in the bush.  July in Africa is the middle of winter there.  So it was cold, around 45 degrees.  The sun had barely risen.  We had just dished up our breakfast and sat down to eat.  My coffee was hot.  I was savoring a sip of it when one of our guides spotted a lion down on the riverbank below us.

We jumped into the Land Rovers and sped down to find him.  Which we did, walking leisurely along the Chobe river's bank.  Our guides were excited and pleased for us.  Only rarely, they said, were lions seen in these parts.

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Africa 1: Welcome to Africa

The first question most commonly asked about our Africa trip is:

Where, exactly, did you go?

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