Peace, Love & Giraffes

Chasing dreams and adventure in South Africa

Spotting the elusive cat

I’ve been reminiscing about our Kruger trip and thought it was about time to show you more of the amazing wildlife we saw. These photos are from the second game drive of our trip, through the Crocodile Bridge gate to Lower Sabie restcamp.

One of the first animal encounters of the day was a herd of rhino, up close and personal. This was a treat because so far I had already seen them in the distance. They were so close, it was almost scary and all that I could think of is how similar they look to a dinosaur. Triceratops anyone?

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Rhinos are a threatened species in South Africa, as rhino horn is highly sought after on the black market. Although it’s illegal to poach, still hundreds have been killed in the past few years, and this year, the death toll is close to 1,000. There are lots of non-profits dedicated to the protection of this species.

Another treat was seeing a herd of male kudu.

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Aren’t his horns beautiful? Kudu horns are a trophy for any hunter. Unlike rhino, kudu are legal to hunt, just not in the Kruger (it’s illegal to hunt or bring out anything from Kruger!)

Fotor1219205520But the most exciting part of the day by far was to come. As we were driving down the dirt road we saw a few cars stopped, including a safari bus. We stopped too, as you do in game drives, because we figured they had to be looking at something interesting, we just couldn’t see it yet.

We fixed our gaze in the direction of our fellow game drivers, squinting, trying to see what had captured their attention. Suddenly, we saw the flip of a tail and instantly knew it was a cheetah tail! This was the first and only cat we would see on our trip.cheetah2

When we first spotted him (or her), he was lying down on the hill. We watched in awe as the beautiful cat sat up and had a look around. A minute later he was gone, back into the bush.

The experience was amazing, I was shaking! How incredibly lucky we were. If we were just a few minutes later we wouldn’t have seen him at all. But that’s how game driving is; you have to have a little luck to see these animals. They have evolved to blend into their environment so well. And they often don’t want to be found.
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On the other hand, one animal who isn’t shy, is the monkey. When we were heading into Lower Sabie for breakfast, a herd of monkeys were playing along the road. As soon as they passed us, we looked back and saw  a full on traffic jam. A few of the monkeys were having a field day with the windshield wipers and antennas on the cars behind us.

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At Lower Sabie, we had a good view of Crocodile River, and enjoyed watching the hippos.

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When we crossed the river, we saw a beautiful King Fisher bird sitting on the ledge. Props to my hubby, who snapped this photo from the driver’s seat!

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One of my favorite captures of the day was this baboon with it’s baby. Such a tiny little thing. 

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And I of course I couldn’t leave out the giraffe! Adios!

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By | December 19th, 2013 | SHOW COMMENT(1)

One Response

  1. Meg says

    Great pics love!