Twelve photos from each day of our Africa adventure.
We spent the whole day in Okaukuejo.
Animal sighting-wise, it felt like a slow day. There may not have been fewer animals overall, but they were concentrated in fewer areas. We drove long distances without spotting anything, and that’s not the way it’s been.
We did, however, get a rain shower, and that’s a rare thing. This is the wet season, but it’s a dry wet season. In fact, it’s a drought year.
Elephant sightings are way down, but we expected that. Botswana has tons of elephants. Namibia, not so much. The rest of Africa, not so much. In Botswana, the number of elephants is actually a problem; they’re destroying the habitat.
We saw an elephant today, though. See what I mean about the landscape being dry? How much of that do you suppose it takes to feed an elephant?
There are still ostriches, though, doing their ballerina thing.
It’s cute, no?
And there are jackals, bless their little determined-doggie hearts. They’re everywhere.
Because we’re not seeing bunches of big mammals, we’re paying more attention to the small ones. This is a cape squirrel. He’s got a racing stripe, too. Those hind feet seem bigger to me than other squirrel feet. I wonder if that’s true. I need to look more closely at other squirrels.
The “cape” name is popular; have you noticed? Cape buffalo, cape squirrel . . . and this is a cape hare. It reminds me of a jackrabbit, which is really a hare: long ears—quite naked here—and huge eyes. The back feet look strangely small, but I’m accustomed to snowshoe hares, which have enormous snowshoes for hind feet. Cape hares don’t have soft snow to contend with, so they’ve no need for giant feet.
A Namaqua sandgrouse. It’s a “near-endemic.”
We happened upon this double-banded courser on a not-well-used side track. She was smack-dab on the side of the road, and she didn’t fly or hop away as we neared and passed. Any guesses as to why?
Can you see what she’s sitting on?
Yeah. That’s her nest, except it’s just the ground, not a nest at all, which is how some birds do it. Although, I have to question choosing a spot practically on the road. I guess that demonstrates how often this road gets used.
Now my question is is she sitting on the egg to keep it warm or to shade it from the sun? I would guess the latter.
No great picture of a rhino here, but look at that color. That’s a black rhino. Dumb name, animal namers. Bird namers change bird names. What do you say we change these rhino names?
And here it is: the giant pan that can be seen from outer space. I don’t imagine the zebras or anything else will venture out farther than this puddle. Even after the rain, the pan shimmers from the reflected heat.
The shimmering makes everything blurry. Or, perhaps, artsy.