Monday, 15 April 2013

Great Zim III: safari

Wildlife adventure continues in the
nearby Lake Kyle national park. Despite being summer (the rainy season), the lakebed is visible and hard enough to drive on. The volume of water is low. This is a product of global warming, recognized from farmer to doctor to driver.

In this "bay" we find 6 adult and child hippos that intermittently rise up from the water to snort or get air. Do you see the top of their heads poking up from their submerged safety? An eagle flies towards them.

Warthogs abound, whether on the plains or in the nearby town. One local villager feeds the warthog sadza as they assist in cleaning off dinner plates. There are no dogs here.
A distant view of impala, zebra, buffalo and wildebeast roaming freely in the open plains and near watering holes reminds me of my role as a visitor in this dynamic community with membership to the "circle of life." We are lucky to see a herd of quick-footed impala running to the other side of the water as graceful dancers across the grass. Below, a lone buck impala stands erect against a backdrop of unconcerned zebra, savannah, and looming distant hills. He is likely out on his own, banned from a bachelor herd and without  harem of females.

Spotted- the white rhino, an endangered species. 
White rhinos can be distinguished from black rhinos by the color of their mouth, not the hide. It is also said that white rhino mothers keep their baby in the front, while black rhino babies follow their mothers (perhaps, reflecting human behavior).  

The rhino is considered one of the "big 5" safari animals to spot. The rest are lion, cheetah, buffalo, and elephant.

We even saw a group of 5 rhinos! They are very WIDE.
Mr. Ostrich, an unexpected guest, stands tall over ?8 feet. A nearby female has only plain, brown  feathers but looks just as tall.   

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