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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

African Safari - "No, this is Not the Zoo"


In 2006, Big Bear went on a safari.  A real one.  It was a business trip, so he was obviously employed at the time.  I was so jealous.  He went for 10 days to Africa and brought home some of the most beautiful souvenirs, the best of which were the pictures and the movies.  Since yesterday, I have been going through the pictures and wanted to share some with you.  As I finish editing and uploading the videos, I will share them as well. 

I hate to admit it, but I have never been out of the United States.  I am not a traveled person and I envy anyone who is.  Traveling the world has always been a dream of mine - if I can muster up enough energy, time, and money.  So, while Bob scurried off to Africa, I stayed home with the children and took care of the homefront.  I remember how anxious I was for Bob to get home - safely.  I even pulled up the flight tracker and tracked his trip on every flight. 

So, today, for starters, I am going to share with you some of the pictures that Bob took on his safari from the cab of a jeep.  I was amazed how close these animals got to their jeep.  No, Bob did not have a zoom lens.  As a matter of fact, he took a cheapy Olympus pocket digital camera because it was easy to carry around.  The pictures were beautiful and some of them were amazing. 

If you have never been on safari - like me - then you might wish you had the chance when you see these pictures.  National Geographic we are not, but Bob tells me he sure wishes they would offer him a job.  Enjoy ...


Isn't he beautiful?  Big Bear just told me a story about the lions - The lions, and only the lions, were kept in a separate area and preserve of the several hundred thousand acre game preserve and this is done for a good reason.  That reason is because the lions will naturally hunt and they wreak havoc on the rest of the animals.  The other animals are free and do kill each other, but not as proportionately as the lions.  They let the lions out once every week or two to do a natural kill but they are tracked by radio transmitter so that they can be located, tranquilized, and recaptured.


So, see the fence behind the lions?  This is their protected area of the preserve.  I can't get over how beautiful they are.




Here is a water buffalo.  Bob said he just took a picture of him staring at him. 



An antelope or a gazelle


This hyena was the smaller of the others that were stalking in the bush.  This one walked out in the road and dared them to come close.  He walks with such a deliberate strut that he knows he's a bad ass and dares you to tell him otherwise.  These hyenas were almost the size of the small lions.  They are really huge and very ugly. 



This was looking out over the park.  They were out for about 5 hours.  Bob said that if you break down you had better hope somebody comes along to help because you wouldn't want to be stuck out there at night.  Uh, Nope, wouldn't want that to happen.


The zebras tended to roam near the wilderbeasts.  The zebra uses the wilderbeasts as a radar for danger.  If the wilderbeast gets nervous, the zebra knows to get out of the way and seek safety.


This is a wilderbeast.  Bob saw them in herds of thousands and occasionally stampeding.  They are the most numerous animal in the preserve and a source of food for the predators.



My favorite shot of all.  Bob has a video of these 2 elephants getting rough with each other right in front of the jeep.  I can't wait to edit the video of that and get it uploaded.


Someone else wants to get in on the action.  This is a younger elephant who wanted to be part of the action, but they wouldn't let him because he was still too young. Poor little guy.


Maybe 3's a crowd.  Ya think?  This is funny, Bob said that the elephants started off fighting about 30 yards away from their truck and in a grand game of tug-o-war, the group of elephants backed their way up against the vehicle and actually bumped them back and forth.  At one point, Bob was able to reach out and touch one of the elephants during the fight and then thought better of it as the guide tried to quickly get them out of there.  Remember, these are not trained elephants, they are wild and going thru the mating ritual.  They are practicing tusk wrestling in preparation for their mating season.  Ladies watch out!


He and his colleagues stayed at some golf resort.  The view was beautiful.

That's it for today.  I'm still trying to shake this flu believe it or not.  It's been over a week and I just can't shake it entirely.  So, while I've been resting, I've been looking through discs of images that I've come across, uploading them to my computer, making some edits as necessary, and then uploading them to Flickr.  It is a breezy, beautiful day outside and I should probably take a walk.  As long as no hyenas get in my path, it ought to be enjoyable.  I do, however, believe that it will not be like any walk through Africa.

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