Thursday, September 25, 2008

More pictures

More pictures from my African safari...

These are wildebeest, an animal that looks like it was put together by a committee who couldn't agree on anything. If you have ever seen documentaries of the Great Migration on the Serengeti Plains, these are the animals you see. There are an estimated 2 million in herds that move through the Plains in search of grass. They drop their babies during a 2 week period in March or April and then begin to head north as the Long Rains begin.

This elephant was standing next to the road by our vehicle, not more than 15 feet away. Look at the texture of his skin - I'm thinking thermofax screen for this.

These are Cape buffalo and they are as nasty as they look. Very aggressive animals - they will defend themselves against an entire pride of lions.

This beautiful animal is a female impala. The male impalas' horns have a different shape, described as 'lyre-shaped', they curve outward. One morning I heard this terrible grunting outside our tent and it turned out to be two fighting impala. I would never have thought such a horrible noise would come from such a graceful animal.

And of course, these are zebra. Those stripes are going to be in another thermofax screen, for sure. Zebra are very wary and whenever we stopped there were always some who kept their eyes on us. When they stand in a group, they often face in different directions so that nothing can sneak up on them. One day we sat an watched a huge herd approaching a river for a drink. The river was down in a gully, a perfect place for a predator to hid. The zebra slowly approached the bank, then stopped and waited. Then a little more movement until finally one brave (or foolhardy) zebra skittered down the slope to the water. Others immediately followed. They went down to the water in groups and occasionally would come bounding up because something startled them. It was fascinating to watch.

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