Saturday, September 27, 2008

And more Africa pictures

The circle of life was everywhere we looked.

These lions killed this Cape buffalo and would spend several days eating it. There are four lions in the picture but somewhere in the rocks are two or maybe three more. We never actually saw a lion hunt but did see several kills. Once the lions have eaten their fill the hyenas and jackals move in, followed by vultures and other scavengers. Eventually all that is left are a few scattered bones.

October and November are the Short Rains when it will rain for several hours in the afternoon. Except it seemed that the Rains started several weeks early, in September. The last four days we were there it rained every day, and our guide kept telling us how unusual that was. He said that the Long Rains in March and April are getting off schedule also and claims it's the result of global warming. It's very confusing to everybody. Once it starts raining, the Migration begins. The huge herds of wildebeest are up north for the winter. As the springlike weather moves south, the animals follow it because they know they will find lots of new growth. Because of these rains we were able to see huge herds migrating south, something not normally experienced in September.

I had to keep reminding myself that we were in the Southern Hemisphere, where September is the end of winter, the greening of Spring moves from north to south, the sun is in the northern sky (although since we were so near the equator, the sun was directly overhead), and the Tanzanians drive on the left side of the road. Oh wait...that's the result of the British influence, not the hemisphere.

There are always zebras in with the wildebeest. One guide told us that the zebra can smell the new growth and the wildebeest can smell the rain and so they have a symbiotic relationship. Also the zebra are much more alert to their surroundings and will act as crossing guards when the herds run across the roads.

In case we might have had any thoughts about feeding the animals.


Twila Grace said...

Once again, thanks for sharing these wonderful photos and the descriptive text you have provided.

Rayna said...

These don't look like they would eat much.