Saturday, July 5, 2008

Our final day..

We spent today at the Kruger National Park. On our way there Dottie was full of questions. So here we go with the answers:- The Park covers an area of 19 485sq km. To give her some sort of an idea of how big that is, it’s larger than the state of Israel, about the same size as Wales and about two-thirds the size of Belgium. There are at least 147 species of mammal, 507 birds, 114 reptiles, 33 amphibians and 49 freshwater fish. It is one of only 14 national parks in the world more than 15 000sq km. It borders on Zimbabwe (north) and Mozambique (east) and the Park stretches 320km from north to south and 65km from east to west at its widest section. No, there was no guarantee that we were going to see ‘everything’ but we would be travelling through areas where we were bound to see a fair amount.

We entered the Park at the Paul Kruger Gate and this is a granite statue of him. 'Gosh,' said Dottie, 'he really looks grumpy' LOL at this lass!
The Park has approx 110 000 Impala, so we came across them always at every turn.
These Wildebeest (12 500) were having a bit of a 'discussion' We're not sure whether it was about who was on whose turf or perhaps it was about a lady?!?!

A lonely vervet monkey looking for Mommy! We roll up windows very quickly when we see these little fellows because they are known to grab whatever they can through open windows - camera, binoculars, food, anything. We also don't stop for monkeys or baboons because they climb all over the car and break radio aerials and windscreen wipers clean off!! Little blitters!

Oh, oh, a white rhino(2 000) and her baby! So cute but so dangerous! Never get between any mother and her baby, especially a rhino or an elephant. You are likely to come off second best.

The giraffe (5000) is so stately and 'elegant' piped up Dottie who had to stretch her neck to see this fellow. He was not really interested in these strange looking things staring at him. He was probably looking for the rest of his mates!

What is it with males? These two buffalo (1 600) were also having a serious discussion. The more dominant male pointed his snout to the ground as if to say, 'you are sooo pushing your luck young man. Back off now or be sorry!'

'Ah, they are so cute! and they are having such fun playing in the soft sand' oooh and then we noticed Mommy elephant (8 000) standing rather close by and we decided to move along, as they say!

Dottie just collapsed laughing when we were looking at the zebra (25 000) and said, 'If I just saw the photo, I would swear they were paid to pose like that' I absolutely agree! It was almost like, 'OK fellas, on three, heads down and drink!!

The lilac breasted roller became a firm favourite with Dottie. She just couldn't get over the stunning and striking colours of this bird.

This male kudu (4 000) was just so majestic. We could have watched him for hours but he got bored with us and decided to move on.

OMG, words cannot describe what was waiting for us just a bit further down the road! We had missed a cheetah killing an impala (Dottie, was horrified) by maybe 6 or 7 minutes. This is such a rare sight and people who have witnessed an actual kill, talk about it for years. The photo is not too clear but I think two can be seen feeding!

Oh lordy, then one lifted his head! Dottie nearly freaked out! All she said was, 'Oh how gross!'

Oh dear then we came across this martial eagle having a meal! It was almost too much for poor Dottie! But I think she is beginning to understand the way of the wild when we explained that animals only kill when they are hungry. Predators may go days without eating!

We hadn't seen anything for quite some time and were beginning to think, 'Oh dear, dry patch'
A little info - in the park you are more likely to hear something before you see it and this is exactly what happened. We heard a rustle in the bushes and just waited to see what it was.
It was lionesses and their babies! What a fantastic sight! We didn't linger too long because they were very aware of us! POWER FAILURE, PLEASE SEE NEXT POST!
Typical male! At this stage we needed to leave the park because we still had quite a journey home and THIS guy decided that he was going to take an afternoon stroll! Dottie's suggestion, 'Well, be polite, tap him on the shoulder and ask him to move over.' ROFL He did eventual move over onto the side so that we could get past!

Well, we are home and Dottie is just having a quick cuppa (her favourite mug and new outfit) before I take her down the road to Jessie.

We're on our way!
Hugs and love to all
D & D


Chriss Rollins said...

wow wow wow, how wonderful...your post is fantastic...i had been reading on a site where i found the gorgeous birds that you must and i mean must visit one of the great parks if ever in S Africa....thankyou Denise I can see why...oh and Dotties outfit is brilliant something to add to your holiday memories.
You did Dottie proud and I want to say a huge thankyou for being a brill host and showing us the sights.
get a good night sleep.
chriss xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jaqi said...

What fabulous reading , and what a spectacular holiday Dottie has had with you. I love her outfit . Sam has been following her holiday diary too ( I think he was worried that she had another holiday romance - bless he misses her) The photo of the bird is fantasic, what fab colours. Thank you for an interesting week, pop over to my blog ive left something for you, Cheers Jaqi x

Susan said...

Denise, what a wonderful day you had! I loved the stories about the animals and the park and was so jealous of Dottie's new outfit and mug at the end of the day. It does suit her so well though! I had been wondering about whether there would be another holiday romance too and am not surprised Sam was worried, but you kept her so busy there was no need for worrying.

It was so enjoyable reading about your adventures! Thank you very much!

Jessie James said...

Oh Denise do I see tones of Shaka Zulu. I am sure he would have found her wonderful and adorable

jlyne said...

Wow,Denise,I just love returning here.Everytime I go through your posts I feel like I was on a vacation.It is so beautiful and I am so jealous of dottie and her outfits:)What a wonderful host you are!! Who is Dottie anyway??