Twelve photos from each day of our Africa adventure.
Another day in Halali and the surrounding area.
The leopard saga continues. We have a brief encounter with our third leopard. It’s really just a small, walk-on part in the show, but since it’s a leopard, it’s exciting. She can’t help but be gorgeous and dramatic.
Just like a male kudu with spiraling horns can’t help but be impressive. What’s a kudu to do?
Lions, on the other hand . . . wait. No, they’re always impressive, too. It seems a little unfair of them to just kick back around the waterhole. When the lions are there, no one else goes near. We saw impala, kudu, and hartebeest decide they weren’t that thirsty after all.
This is another mating pair, but you’ve already seen that.
Hyenas wish they had that kind of effect on other animals.
See? Not that thirsty. And rather late for . . . oh, you know, that thing.
Are you sick of big cats and antelope yet? (I’m not, and I’ve seen way more than you have.)
You haven’t seen one of these in a while. A Kori bustard. They seem to thrive in the dry, dry, dry areas. They’re a favorite of Mike’s, and I like them, too, but I think it wouldn’t hurt to have at least a little splash of color.
The neon orange bill and legs and the descriptive name make the pale chanting goshawk my favorite hawk. I don’t think I’ve heard them chant, though. I’d like to hear that.
Of course, when it comes to color, it’s hard to top a bee eater. This is a European bee eater. Bee eaters were the birds hovering and flying next to the truck in Savuti.
This elephant got extra wrinkles. Is that the wrinkliest trunk you’ve seen or what?
No wrinkles on this guy or gal; she’s smooooooth. She was in the middle of the road after a brief rain shower. I believe she is a rock python, about five feet long. She didn’t speed off the road, zigging and zagging in a serpentine fashion, as did the black mamba we saw on the South Gate road. Instead, she calmly and cooly proceeded to gracefully slither off in a straight line, her body muscles contracting and relaxing almost imperceptibly.
That doesn’t mean she can’t move fast when she has to. While filming her approaching the truck, and wanting to get every inch of her on the video, Mike let her get a little closer than he intended. When he pulled away, she startled and made a beeline (snakeline?) for cover on the side of the road.
And my favorite pictures from the day are these two:
Look how dark this zebra is! His black stripes are wide and his white stripes are narrow giving him an overall darker-than-the-others look. He stands out from the crowd.
He also stands out from this picture. It looks fake to me, a poorly crafted composite. The zebra and jackal look as though they were PhotoShopped in, but they weren’t. This photo isn’t even cropped; it was composed in-camera, just like you see it. Those are blurry springbok in the background.
This is another shot in the same place, this time with the springbok in focus. It looks fake, too, doesn’t it? I mucked with the contrast on this one, but that’s all.
I don’t think I’ve posted jackals or springbok in the Daily Dozen, but we see lots of them: hundreds of springbok and dozens of jackals. Seeing so many makes them less special in a way, but they’re cool in their own right.
Springbok are like impala in size and number. Mike calls them cheetah food, which is true. They’re lithe and lovely, and I adore the racing stripes along their sides.
Jackals are small dogs, but they can be formidable hunters. They scavange, too.
A jackal appeared while we were watching a pride of nine (!) lions wake up from the day’s slumber. It yapped and whined and paced, calling two more jackals to the scene. The jackals kept their distance but hung around the cats. The lions ignored them. I don’t know this, but I’m thinking that the jackals might trail the lions this evening in hopes of scavenging something from their kill. Surely, a pride of nine lions is going to take something down, right?
Arctic foxes trail polar bears, eating their scraps. It’s a proven dining strategy.