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wild animal watching observations

sunny 34 °C
View Trip of the Half Century on IronladyTravels's travel map.

What I learned after my days of wild animal watching is:
1. Elephants are bullies. They chase everyone from the water hole including poor little antelope, the very cautious giraffes and they even have the temerity to take on a rhino. I swear they sit in the middle of the water splashing about and taking their sweet time while there is a ring of parched animals all watching hopefully for their turn.
2. Warthogs are sneaky.
3 I saw a jackal with a herd of elephants. He stayed out of trunk reach but kind of trotted along with them as if they were his people.
4 Whoever animated hyenas for the Lion King got the gait of a hyena perfectly (we saw multiple spotted hyenas)
5. Zebras and oryx and impalas and springbok are everywhere. We stopped getting excited as THEY are more numerous than deer in SW Ontario
6. Elephants have a VERY long 5th leg. It could be a trip hazard (on the other hand, an elephant's testicles are internal)
7. White rhinos are supposed to be called “wide” (mouth) rhinos. But someone got the pronunciation wrong and it stuck.
8. You know you have seen a lot of elephants when your 17 year old son falls asleep in front of a 10 elephants in a waterhole.
9. Banded mongooses are terrible pests - somewhere between squirrels, rats and raccoons. They were everywhere at the second camp.
10. "I need to check the tire pressure" is code for “let me pee behind the truck”.
11. I did not expect giraffes to be so big. Yes, I’ve seen them at the Lion Safari in Ontario but seeing them loom over the trees across the savannah
12. Zebras saunter down the road - cue much bad jokes about zebra crossings.
13. Zebras always look fat because they are bloated.
14. There are paths through the grasses. Animals truly walk single file and make the equivalent of a deer path. You can tell the paths the elephants are on - they are both wider and there are enormous piles of poo everywhere. (elephants are inefficient eaters and only digest 40 % of what they eat. Hence they are awake 20 our of 24 hours as they need to spend the rest of their time eating)
15. The pervasive colour is shades of tan and brown. All the grass looks like the colour wheat when it is harvested (think of the line from the song America the Beautiful - “fields of amber grain”.) Everything looks like there is a sepia filter overlaid.
16. In my reading/research, I was told that this was not the time of year for the wildebeest migration and that we were in the wrong part of africa. So i warned my children that we would likely not see them. Wrong. Wrong . Perhaps not as numerous as zebra and springpok, we saw lots. But now I wonder about the difference between a wildebeest and a gnu (remember the song about gnus from Veggie Tales?)
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As we bounced along (either in the back of the pick up or in our minibus), I kept thinking:
A. Surely there is a Dave Martin somewhere who could improve on the design of the racked seats. Like maybe some sort of pneumatic springs
B. I pitied my poor ancestors who rode wooden wheeled wagons with plain wooden seats
C. I remembered the debate years ago when Millbank’s main street was a mass of potholes - should one drive quickly, and become airborne to miss some potholes or do you ease yourself slowly over every bump. The theme song to Africa should not be “circle of Life” but “Chitty chitty bang bang”.
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Posted by IronladyTravels 09:42 Archived in Namibia

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