Wow. That is about all I can say about this trip so far and we are only a couple of days in to it. After our huge breakfast, we had the opportunity to go on our first African Safari at the Zulu Nyala reserve this morning. Our guide, Welcome (yes, it's his real name), took us on about a 2.5 hour tour this morning. Turns out the reserve at Zulu Nyala is only 4,000 acres now due to selling off some of the land over the years. What makes that a good thing is that there are more wild animals for us to be able to see without having to drive all over the place. Simply amazing here. The weather couldn't be better either. Slight breeze and about 75* on our morning safari.
Edited some 'real' photos from this mornings safari, so I thought I would share. Headed to eat some lunch now, since it is 12:30 PM SAST / 5:30 AM CST.
2nd half of day consisted of another game drive at 3:30 SAST / 8:30 AM CST. This time we saw the elephants, some baboons, monkeys, cape buffalo, hippos, wildebeest, Nyala (In-Yeah-La), and Impala. We could get pretty close to all of them, which made for an interesting experience. I think the most amazing thing that we saw that day were the elephants. They move about and dont really care what they run in to. They eat all the time, which means they poop all the time too.
Before we left for the afternoon game drive, I photographed some Weaver Birds, which nest in a tree just right outside our bedroom window. They are pretty much loud all day long, from the time the sky lights up until the sky gets dark again. There is a sort of calm to there chaotic chirps. The males are the brighter color yellow and court the females by hanging upside down in their woven nests with the door on the bottom... Fun times!
One of the first things that Welcome shared with us was the yellow skinned trees that are near the draws here. He said they are known as Fever Trees, (i.e. Yellow Fever) which the natives believed carried the Malaria virus. However, after time, they grew to know that the tree did not carry the virus, but the mosquitos that nested inside the tree did. Those nasty little things would hang out by the wildebeest, cape buffalo, etc and infect them from others that they picked up the virus from. The interesting part of the tree is that the bark is not yellow, its actually green. There is a fine dust that sticks on the tree, which is believed to be pollen from the fruits that they bare.
At one point on the afternoon drive, we pulled up next to a pond where the hippos were hanging out in the water (as they do all day long, only coming out at night). There were several vervet monkeys near a tree that we were paused next to. Then, all of a sudden, one of them got up in the tree, climbed to a branch about 6 ft away from our truck, and looked like he was going to get on the truck with us. What a deal, huh? Anyway, I snapped a few photos of him posing for me. Its almost he wanted the attention and boy did he get it. But even better, Kathy was watching the hippos in the pond and one breached and took a big yawn - and yes, she got the photo (see below).
We finished the trip in time to get back to Heritage Park, grab a beer or so, then hit dinner. We sat with our friends from Pittsburg KS, Jeff and Ann, as well as Angela and Dave from London. I want to get one of them to do my voicemail at work. There is still time! Anyway, for dinner, it was roasted lamb and/or impala for the main course. We had both, of course. They do not scrimp on meals around here either. There is a breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared for you, usually set up in a buffet style setting. I am getting spoiled, for sure!
Since we had a 0600 AM SAST / 11:00 PM CST wake up call for the 0630 SAST game drive, we decided to hit the hay around 10:00 PM SAST. Ive included more photos of the afternoon drive below the ones from the morning drive. Enjoy!
PS - The internet around here is spotty at best. I will try to keep updating, but it might not be everyday that I can actually post. I may have to post a couple days in a row, but they will be separate posts with related photos - or at least I hope it will be that way.
|Kathy Ready To Safari|
|Our Guide, Welcome|
|A view from our seats|
|Welcome, explaining how Rhinos mark their territory|
|Welcome said this is a special Zebra. It has 5 legs!|
|Giraffe Carcass (electrocuted by high power line)|
|Photo Credit: Kathy F'n Smith|
|Yellow Fever Trees|
|Welcome Explains The Fever Tree|
|Yellow Fever Trees|
|Weaver Birds right outside our room|