Friday, June 29, 2007

Kruger Park!

Here are the rules to game viewing. Wake up at 5am. Drive until you see wildlife that you've only seen on nature shows. Stop. Watch the wildlife. Take some pictures. Do not get out of the car. Do not agitate or feed the wildlife. Drive back to camp when you get bored or tired. Have breakfast. Leisure time in the camp until afternoon. Get back in car and watch more wildlife. It's pretty simple.

"Wow." Has been the most frequent word out my mouth over the last 5 days. Since we arrived, we've seen. Lions(20), Hyena(7), Cheetah(2), Leopards(2), White Rhino(1) Giraffe, Elephants, Herds of Buffalo, Warthogs, Mongeese, Babboons, Monkeys, Countless exotic birds, Crocs, Hippos, Wildebeasts, Zebras, and several varieties of elklike animals. Its' been unbelievable. They all seem to emerge from the trees, prowl around, and disappear as quickly as they came. In the 30 years that Rich's dad has been coming here he's never seen so much game. This is the first time he's ever seen leopards and we saw two in twenty-four hours.

The most memorable experience by far was watching a herd of 35 elephants, from calfs through big tuskers, aproach us from afar. The herd emerged from over a crest, stoped in the river to drink, and then proceeded towards munching on trees as they all plodded along. They surrounded our vehicle for about 10 minutes and then moved on. We could see every hair on their chins. And with one gentle push, even the mid-size ones could have toppled our vehicle. It was exhilarating and terrifying.

On top of the excitment of seeing such amazing beasts, has the been the beauty and serenity of the landscape. Each of our camps has been on a bluff over water where we could hear hippos and lions and elephants all night long belting out their Kruger chorus.

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